Tuesday, May 15, 2012

a celebration, a lesson, a giveaway!

**Scroll down to the bottom of this post for Red Fox pillow giveaway!



Welcome! Last week, this blog officially hit 10,000 page views, which is a pretty big milestone for me. For the first couple of years of this blog, I didn't blog with any sort of intention of having a whole lot of folks see it, and I didn't blog about every project I did. And I didn't blog very regularly. There was an especially noticeable lack of posts in 2010, after my son was born (who knew newborns could take so much energy? aside from every mother in the world, I mean).

Since finally giving up my regular gig designing book covers at the start of this year, though, I've made a commitment to be more intentional and frequent in my postings, and to try to start increasing readership. Turns out that I really thrive on sharing my creative work with others. So going from a couple thousand page views to ten thousand in the space of a few months has been very encouraging. Thank you! And this week, I'm actually on the precipice of 11,000 views. Incredible. (update: hit 12,000 tonight, 5/24.)

I know this will seem like small potatoes to some bloggers who regularly get thousands of hits per blog entry, but it's a place to start!

I'm also celebrating the release of my Quick Red Fox collection of fabrics over at Spoonflower.



This is a design set that's very close to my heart, as it is the first collection I've done since last year's Baby's Day at the Beach, and also the first since then to have been hand drawn and watercolored.



Doing artwork with my hands (and then manipulating it on the computer) is much more rewarding for me than doing all of my work on the computer. Although I'm designing both, I feel more ownership over the designs including handwork. I've always felt that way when designing book covers, too; the ones with handmade elements always felt more mine.

Of course, as with any design on Spoonflower, designs must be proofed before being sold to the public. Designers can order a single 8x8 sample of a single design ($5), or they can add all their designs to a collection, and order a collection sampler ($20 for up to 15 designs, $30 for 16-30). I always try to wait until I have enough to get a full fifteen designs before ordering, so I feel like I'm being as cost-effective as possible.

Here's a photo of my most recent collection, The Quick Red Fox, on a sampler sheet with four colors of my new Snow White print, my White Swans in a Blue Pool, and a couple of recent contest entries I hadn't had proofed yet (the vintage sewing pattern and the library check-out cards).



And here's the lesson: it might seem like a drag, and it might seem like too long to wait, but it's so important to proof your Spoonflower designs.

For example, there are three patterns in my Quick Red Fox collection that need to be reworked because, well, the color variations didn't have enough differentiation to show up well when printed. These are the three designs that included a neutral tone-on-tone chevron pattern in the background. The colors looked great on screen, but turned out too close to each other to perform well on printed fabric. You'll notice a couple of squares in the photo above that look blank. These are the ones with a nearly-invisible chevron pattern. So I'll make adjustments to beef up the pattern and upload revisions that fix the issues, and in the end, everyone will be happier for it.

That's the reason Spoonflower requires proofing before letting you sell to the public. Otherwise, there'd be a bunch of disappointed customers asking for refunds for bad fabric, and their reputation would suck.

Currently, five of the Quick Red Fox patterns are up for sale here, on my Spoonflower page. But, in celebration of the line going on sale, and in celebration of 11,000 page views (which I'm sure to hit by the end of the day), I'm hosting my first giveaway!



One lucky winner will win a fox pillow of his/her choice (Sneaky Red Fox or Sleepy Red Fox), sewn from my Red Fox Pillow Set fabric.

A second winner will win both mini pillows from the set (Cold Shoulder Fox and Fox Face).



How to enter the giveaway: Comment on this blog post (or any other blog post on the Night Garden Design Blog) about a project or post you especially like by May 25th.

If you post anonymously, add your name to your comment so I can add you to the drawing.

You can enter more than once by leaving comments on more than one blog post. I'll see them all, as my comment settings are set up to run everything by me first.

I'll also count new blog follows as entries, so copy my url into your reader!

On May 27th, I'll put all the names in a hat and let Baby P pick the winning entries at random.



Winners will be announced here on the blog, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, and on the Spoonflower page for the Fox Pillow Set on May 27th, and the packages will be shipped out by June 1st (assuming I've heard from the winners by then). If you provide a way to contact you, I'll do that, too!


And yes, I'll even ship internationally.

Thanks for reading, everybody, and good luck to you!

UPDATED TO ADD WINNERS: Fox pillow of your choice (Sleepy Fox or Sneaky Fox): "I really like the sneaky fox! Your style is so unique, and creative!" --Jessica

Two mini pillows (Cold Shoulder Fox and Fox Face): "My son would LOVE these foxes! I envy your drawing skills and will add you to my Google Reader blogroll." --Holly U

Here's a new twist: Holly U can choose to instead to have the second large fox pillow (whichever one isn't chosen by Jessica), in which case, I'd pick a third winner for the two mini pillows.


Contact me by 5/31 at info at thenightgarden.com with your address and preferences! If I don't hear from you by the 1st of June, I'll pick a new winner.



Linking up to:



Tip Junkie handmade projects

Photobucket



mop it up mondays






91 comments:

Sarah said...

i LOVED your Wild Things Are costume but I also recall your amazing jewelry you made in high school. I want that pillow!

Wendy said...

Great design! Love your projects.

Marie R said...

I love this fantastic fox! I have also loved the birds and he dandelions.

Anonymous said...

I love the fabric designs.

Anonymous said...

You are so wonderfully creative. I have a soft spot for fabric. ;) Yours makes me very happy! Looking forward to reading more about your journey. Peace. Ally

Deborah Fike said...

The foxes are so cute, especially the sleeping fox pattern. It's fun for kids, yet not gawdy. Love how you struck the balance there.

krislovesfabric said...

Your foxes are adorable! Love them! Thanks for the chance!

fern said...

OH MY GOODNESS! I love your pillows! And the fabrics! I REALLY love that the fat quarter is just the front of the fox so it can be more affordable to still make one of these adorable guys! :-) You rock!!!!

JJ said...

My little guy loves the foxes, it was the first thing he noticed on the page of giveaways!

Trish said...

Your collection is so cute! I'm on spoonflower too, and have had the same thing happen with colors. It's hard to know how they are gonna look on fabric.

Shannon said...

What a great sleepy fox!
shannerpants AT gmail

Gill said...

I love your foxes- especially the sneaky fox! In real life I'm not so keen on them as I keep chickens!

sookhyun said...

wow - what a creative use of a print! i would love to win this for my nephew. he loves animals - this would be the perfect addition to his collection : )

Katie said...

Your foxes are amazing!! What talent!

Andrea Folsom said...

Love your fox pillow - this is my first time at your blog and I already can't wait to poke around and read more!! :)

CMEH said...

I love your work and the foxes are wonderful!!! I would be happy to have either of them! Thanks for a wonderful giveaway!

Jessica said...

I really like the sneaky fox! Your style is so unique, and creative!

thehappycrochetchic said...

I love foxes..These are so cute and I love the design/

thegoose said...

oh my gosh, I love everything on your site! But I the teepee hideout project is exactly what my DS has been asking for, so I think I will try that out first. And those foxes... *love* them. Thanks!

feelincrafty said...

I love your foxes!! The design is great. My son loves the game What Time is it Mr. Fox. very cool!

Jamie @Terrabyte Farm said...

Wow, those foxes are amazing. We live on a farm, and this weekend lost two chickens to a fox. I bet he isn't as lovely as your fox. Your blog looks super cool, and I LOVED your cupcake-wrapper light fixture project. What a great idea, I can't wait to try this with my kids.

bee*in*the*balm said...

love the foxes!
fingers crossed! treevt80 at yahoo dot com

Jingle said...

I really like your lanterns project/post! These fox pillows are so perfect and would match my red couch wonderfully!!!! Thanks for the chance to win! jinglesells at gmail dot com

JLVerde said...

I love that you're making your own custom fabrics. Spoonflower is so wonderful.

These foxes are so cute (and now I can't wait to check out the rest of your blog!).

corvustristis said...

I like your post on paper lighting fixtures. I'm thinking about hanging a similar cluster in my bedroom.

corvus.melloriATgmailDOTcom

Sarita said...

LOVE the foxes! They are both so expressive.
I found your linky button to where you're featured on the CSI top ten - that silverware wall mirror is a great idea! It would make a cool clock, too. (And the other projects were neat as well.)

Thanks for the opportunity to win! :)

sarita0818 at comcast dot net

sarah said...

i love the fox. my sister is a big fox person, so i'll have to keep this under lock and key, should i be the lucky winner. :)

sarah16@gmail.com

Amy said...

Congratulations on your new fabric designs on Spoonflower. They look terrific! As a plus, I know where to find the fabric in case my entry isn't a winner. :)

EG said...

I love your umbrella fabric!

Wendy said...

My daughter is into foxes and she would absolutely love this! I have yet to try Spoonflower, but I will, one of these days!

sandyandcosmo said...

I think your bedspring trellis is one of the most creative re-use ideas I've ever seen!

Jenny said...

I just love your foxes. They are so cute! I've added you to my reader because they're lovely and I want to keep up with what you're upto.

Abigail said...

I am honestly so in love with your quick red fox series. We want to decorate our nursery with a fox theme, so it's perfect!

abigail.lee {at} gmail.com

Laura said...

I love your fabric collection. The foxes are adorable!

Beth said...

Love the sleeping fox pillow! Would be wonderful for a child's bed.
beth.sebastian@gmail.com

wooLynn said...

I love your foxes!

Nanbon44 said...

I love the sleepy fox and I love the fabric... so cute

seeks said...

I love this fabric line! Great work so far, even if you did have to tweak the chevrons. Thanks! sneakfuzz at hotmail

Rose said...

I just loves me some foxes. What a superb giveaway.

Jeannie D said...

I am smitten with this "foxy" line of fabric! Thanks so much for talking about Spoonflower...I have been wanting to try them for awhile now!

Shayla Sharp said...

Well, I just found your blog, so I'm not familiar with all your projects but if they're as neat (and I'm sure they are) as that sneaky fox then I'll be back to check it out!

Shannon said...

My son has a stuffed animal red fox and he loves the animal so he would go crazy for this pillow. Thanks!

elflyn said...

Fabulous fabrics and foxes.
Thanks for the chance to win.

Digital Misfit said...

You fabric designs are brilliant. I love foxes, and your pillows are adorable!
My favorite project so far has to be the antique style tape measure growth chart. It is so unique and wonderful.

Lolinkins said...

I love those foxes!!! I already know where i would place one of those pillows!

Deb (Two Cheeky Monkeys) said...

Can't go past Wild Things - loved it!

Rookie said...

What a great collection! I love your style :) Sleepy fox is gorgeous, but sneaky fox had me snickering to myself - that's my face when I got into the cookie-jar!

I need to explore your blog a bit, but thus far this post is my fav ;)

Marilize
marilize (dot) paulsen (at) gmail (dot) com

MissEnota Minnesota said...

Hello from Minnesota! I always wonder about Spoonflower and now I know a little more. Your foxes are awesome (I love the backing too.)

Jackie said...

Wow, these pillows are amazing! I would love to have one in my home! So quirky and unique...I absolutely LOVE them.
Thank you so much for the chance to win. :)
jackieinmi67@gmail.com

claire said...

OH , what great designs! The red fox would be perfect on my sofa. Thx for a chance to win.

claire said...

Love that foxy fabric!

T said...

Those fox pillows are seriously the cutest pillows I've seen!

AToM said...

I love the new fox set! They look so cute!

Thank you for the giveaway!

atomium3@gmail.com

leslie King said...

The Fox fabrics are wonderful!!! Our elementary school, Dorothy Fox (Camas WA), has a fox as its mascot. The pillows would be fabulous displayed in the school!

Bonne said...

I love your where the wild things are. I already made myself a max costume several years ago, but i definitely want to make that head piece for my husband this year!

Also, LOVE your foxes!

P├ętra said...

I love your Zelda birthday party post. The foxes are so cute I would love to give one a home on my son's bed!
Thanks for the chance to win.

Amy said...

How cool are these foxes - very very cool!!!! I am new to the world of Spoonflower so will go check it out. Would love this pillow - I can totally visualise it on my bed, in my house :)

CarrieM said...

The tepees are pretty outstanding! Thanks for this giveaway, I am really impressed with your work (and foxes!).

carrie dot hare @ gmail.com

principeta said...

Love the foxes,clever idea.thanks for the chance to win it.

jackieb said...

So lovely and unique!

Jodi said...

Love your fox designs - your a very talented lady. My little girl was born in 2010 and I totally agree with you - who knew... but what a blessing she has been.

Lynn said...

super sweet foxes-i'd love one in my house!

Lynn said...

i'm a new follower too, thanks.

lil'monkeysmama said...

I adore your sleeping fox and awake fox! So talented!
smcintosh12(at)gmail(dot)com

Jane said...

Love the sleepy fox!!! So cute!

Steph and Carlos said...

I haven't even stepped into spoon flower as I may not return...lol... I saw your bees at work sample and fell in love!! Congrats on your milestone too!!

xo Steph

Macska said...

These are adorable! I especially love the sleepy fox - so cute. :-)

macska at gmail dot com

Mandy said...

my boys would love this fox...this is such a cool giveaway,,,,thankyou...xxx

Holly U said...

My son would LOVE these foxes! I envy your drawing skills and will add you to my Google Reader blogroll.

Connie said...

Love your fox, these are so neat! Your work is wonderful1

amye said...

your designs are so lovely! i adore the hand drawn aspect of your work. my little boys would love these! congrats on your views increase....much success to you :)

xo

SunflowerSkies said...

Foxes are my favorite!! I also liked the dandelions. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

Sallie said...

Love the foxes! Thanks for the giveaway!

Lee said...

Fabulous designs! My daughter is crazy about foxes and would love this. I love the silverware wall mirror too! thank you
butler83ataoldotcom

Jamie Lee said...

That was an interesting post! I didn't know you had to proof your designs first, but that makes sense and makes me more likely to order a fabric from Spoonflower. I love your fox designs! Good luck with increasing readership and I will become a follower.

Marta said...

Awww, sweet foxes! Lovely work.

SisterlyLove said...

How clever you are! I adore your foxes!

Genevieve
jenny(at)ykwc(dot)net

alli b said...

I love your line. If I don't win I might have to make myself a pillow :)
Right now the project I'm most excited about is the one growing inside me - little baby Bright is set to enter on Halloween :)
Thanks so much for the generous giveaway!
allisonbright{at}gmail{dot}com

CMG said...

I like your sneaky fox and sleeping fox. They are all wonderful.

cgilsbach(at)gmail(dot)com

Keri said...

my mom's license plates are "FOXILADI" seriously. she needs to have a fox. please, do it for her.

ambjer said...

LOVE those fox pillows!! i like the look of your fabrics in the proofs photo too!

ambjer (at) gmail.com

ambjer said...

i also started following your blog via RSS!

ambjer (at) gmail.com

Sew Lovins said...

So cute, Love the pillows!!!

Kiza said...

Oh my goodness, the pillows are amazing! My daughter - not quite two - was sitting on my lap when I pulled up your blog and she went NUTS over them! :)

brandischmandi said...

the foxes are adorable!!! my son loved the fantastic mr. fox interactive play that we went to, if i win this i guarantee that he'll "take" mr. fox all for his own!! and if i don't win i'm probably going to buy the fabric and make one!

brandischmandi said...

i don't know if my post worked or not, so if this is duplicated... i apologize. i LOVE your fox fabric!! my son was a huge fan of the fantastic mr. fox interactive play that we went to. so if i win this i'm sure he will take mr fox as his own! but if i don't win i'm pretty sure i'm going to buy the pillow fabric and make some!

Anonymous said...

This is my first time on your blog. I adore this pillow. I am instantly hooked and subscribing to you.
Amanda
BRITBABY13@hotmail.com

Barbara+James said...

Your foxes are awesome. What a great idea.

Cal said...

I am glad I found your blog and enjoyed reading an insight into creating a fabric print line. I think your fox line looks very original, and it reminds me a bit of eric carle, even though the medium is different I guess.
Project wise, I want to make slippers for myself, but haven't yet finalized the idea. I am thinking kind of ballet flats but cozy, or baby slipper shoes scaled up.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if I'm too late for this giveaway, but I'm a VERY new reader--just linked from Simple Design to your high chair project. Liked it so much I'm snooping around your blog (and feeling quite envious of your talent)!

Jamie B.

jmb715 (at) sbcglobal.net

Night Garden Design said...

Just a couple of hours left to enter! I'm keeping it open until midnight Pacific Standard Time, U.S. Thanks, everyone so far, for the sweet comments! You're awesome.