Artwork, Embroidery, Graphic Design, hair bows, pink toe press

Getting Ready for the Holidays

Happy SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY!

 

I hope you didn’t go too crazy on Black Friday and you still have a little shopping to do between now and Cyber Monday!

 

I wanted to showcase some of my favorite things for gift giving. You can find every item shown here in my Etsy Shop! Drop by any time this weekend and use the code “CYBERMONDAY” for a discount on your purchase.ptp_christmas

These are a few of my favorite things! (gift wrapping is available until the 2nd week of December!)

The items shown here are all handmade by yours truly! While many other items are available in my etsy shop, these are the ones shown here:

Pink Pencil Case

Salmon and Floral Hoop Organizer

Laser Engraved (funny sayings) Pencils

Flamingo Pinback Buttons

Monochromatic Pink Pin-Back Buttons

Salmon & Silver Bow/Hair Tie

Thanks for stopping by! Remember to support your local and small businesses this holiday season!

etsy shop, Greeting Cards, New Artwork

New Paper Cut Cards!!

I’d like to wish a warm welcome to my newest addition to my card line: Paper Cut Cards. These cards are made with quality card stock and, in this case, golden printed craft cards.

Cards are hand- assembled and carefully glued together.

Cut card Thank You Circle

The cards are available in various colors including craft paper, white paper, and craft paper with gold. They are available in my Pink Toe Press Etsy Shop.

Cut card Thank You Circle

Stay tuned for more  cards!

design, etsy shop, Greeting Cards

Photographing Artwork for Improved Branding

Birthday CatsWhat a great set of Birthday Cards! Sprinkles not included.

I am taking steps to make my dream of selling my cards online AND locally a reality. It’s been a lot of hard work bringing Pink Toe Press to where it is today, but I am very proud of my work. Thank you to those of you who have been with me on my journey so far. Your support really means a lot to me.

While I am creating new and amazing artwork, (more on that in upcoming posts!) I am also in the process of taking old designs and making them look lovely and more like “part of a series”. I’d have to say that is one thing that I’ve been putting off for too long now. This week I’ve been rephotographing some of my favorite “older” designs to improve the look of my online shop and bring a cohesive look to my Pink Toe Press Brand.

Unicorn PostcardsNew listing photographs for Pink Toe Press.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThe old photograph.

What do you think of these new photographs? Many, many more to come. Many listings in my Etsy shop have been updated with these new photographs. There are also new Shop Sections and better descriptions for all items listed. Huzzah!

DIY, etsy shop, Inspiration, pink toe press

Crayon Artwork for Nursery or Child’s Room

Crayon Project Step 13

Today I have a fun DIY that would make a lovely addition to a nursery or child’s room. This is a project that could be completed in an afternoon or even during “nap time” and it uses supplies that you may already have at home!

STEP 1 GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES:

Crayon Project Step 1

For this project you will need:

*A Canvas of any size. I used a canvas that measures 11 x 14 inches. (I added a coat of white paint to my canvas to give it an even color. This step is optional.)

*One box of Crayons. You will need enough crayons to cover the horizontal measurement of your canvas. I used 33 crayons but you may need more or fewer depending on the size of your canvas. I recommend using Crayola brand crayons. You can find them just about anywhere.

*Hot-Glue Gun and hot-glue sticks

*A hair dryer with several heat settings

*Newspaper or a paper shopping bag to protect your crafting area.

*Masking tape.

***PLEASE NOTE: This project includes warm to hot tools and materials. Please use caution with your hot glue gun and hair dryer while in use around children. Also, while it will not get VERY hot, please exercise caution while working with the hot/warm wax, especially if you are doing this project with children or have pets nearby.***

STEP 2 PLAN YOUR ARTWORK:

First, let’s lay down our paper bag or newspaper over our workspace. Use masking tape to secure the corners to ensure that the paper will not move around while you are working and using the hairdryer. This is to protect your workspace from getting melted wax on it. Before moving on to the next step, plug in your glue gun to allow it ample time to warm up.

Crayon Project Step 2Make sure you have enough crayons to go across your canvas

Next, set your canvas down and lay out your crayons. You don’t need to decide what colors will go “where” quite yet. This step is to make sure you have the right amount of crayons to go across your canvas. Add or subtract crayons as needed (I needed 33 crayons for 11 inches of canvas). Once you have the right number of crayons, arrange them in the proper color combination for your preferences.

Crayon Project Step 3I chose a rainbow order from white to black.

Before you start gluing, make sure that you have the right number of crayons and that they are in the correct order. You should also decide whether you would like the crayon brand name to be facing out OR if you would rather each crayon’s color name to be showing. I love the names of the colors, so I chose to have those facing outward.

Crayon Project Step 6The color names are way more fun to read than the brand names.

STEP 3 GLUING:

Crayon Project Step 4

Now that your crayons are in place and your glue gun is heated up, you are ready to get gluing! Start with your first crayon and carefully glue it to the canvas. Glue each crayon one at a time with a long, thin strip of hot glue. Make sure each crayon is carefully secured before moving on to the next one.

Crayon Project Step 5

By gluing each crayon one at a time, you’ll make sure no crayons are glued in the wrong spot or wrong order. This will also help make your piece of artwork more durable in the end. Once every crayon is glued to the canvas, lift the canvas up and hold it vertically. Make sure you have a clean line across the top and that no crayons are coming loose. Unplug your glue gun and plug in your hair dryer; we are on to the next step!

STEP 4 MELTING:

Crayon Project Step 7You can see the crayons heating up.

This next step requires a little patience and is a little bit messy. If you haven’t put down some scrap paper or newspaper yet, it would be a good idea to do that now.

What you will want to do is hold your hairdryer in one hand and use your free hand to hold the canvas. Start on ONE SIDE and aim your hairdryer (on high heat) at the crayons and heat them up. The crayons will start to sweat a little bit (as shown in the picture above) and then will soon start to melt. Keep the canvas horizontal until the crayons melt enough to make a small pool under each crayon. Turn the hair dryer off or point it away from the canvas and slowly tilt the canvas vertically so that the wax will run down the canvas. Try not to rotate side-to-side so as to keep the path of the wax only up and down.

Crayon Project Step 8What a beautiful rainbow!

To stop the wax from dripping further down the canvas, just reduce the angle and move toward a more horizontal position (as if you were lowering a lawn chair to lie down). You can always add more heat to the crayon or the wax path to make it bigger or longer.

**Take advantage of lower settings on your hairdryer if you want to work more slowly. Also keep in mind that the highest settings may blow harder and could cause the wax to spread and splatter.

Crayon Project Step 10Add and remove heat as necessary.

 Repeat these steps across the canvas until each crayon has been heated and every color is melted onto the canvas. I found it easiest to work in groups of 6-or-so crayons at one time, waiting until the last group was mostly cooled before moving on to the next group of colors.

Crayon Project Step 18A

If you want the melted wax to travel all the way down the canvas or make a certain pattern, just add more heat until you reach the design you would like.

Crayon Project Step 19A

If you find your wax thinning out toward the bottom, use your hair dryer to add more heat to the crayons and melt more wax of that color. The wax will follow the path already created, so it is pretty easy to add more wax. Be careful not to over-melt the crayons, though. I almost did that with my silver and grey crayon while trying to melt the colors next to them. If you melt a little too much wax at one time, tilt the canvas back to stop the flow and allow to cool before proceeding on to the next color.

crayon_s_step19Crayon Project Step 12Almost done!

**As you get closer to the bottom of your canvas, you may notice some wax dripping off of the canvas. Be careful not to get any wax on you, your clothing, or your workspace. While it will not be VERY hot, please exercise caution while working with the hot/warm wax, especially if you are doing this project with children or pets nearby. The hairdryer scared my cats away, but please be mindful and safe while working on this project.**

I wanted to take full advantage of these artful drips, so I made sure to have my wax drip over the sides of my canvas. This way, little-ones can see the rainbow on the canvas even if they are looking at the artwork from below.

Crayon Project Step 11I wanted my artwork to fill the whole canvas! Even the sides and bottom!

STEP 5 COOL and HANG:

Spend as much time on the previous step as you need, tinkering to make sure your artwork is “Just Right”. When you are finished with your artwork, unplug your hairdryer and set the canvas down horizontally to cool for a few minutes. Once completely cool, hang your new artwork in your living room, nursery, or playroom!

Crayon Project Step 13

Voilà! Shown with another fun DIY project.

Artwork, etsy shop, Graphic Design, Typography

This Year’s Christmas Card

Every year, around June or July, I have the brilliant idea to get my Christmas Cards and Christmas merchandizing plans together for Pink Toe Press. Last year I had a fairly legitimate excuse to not get any of that done (see: cross-country move in the middle of December). This year I got something together a little later in the game than I would have hoped. But better late than never, right?

ptp_card_christmas_cheer_single1

I really enjoy the movie Elf and I wanted to make a card that features the famous quote from Will Ferrel’s character Buddy: The best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear. My brother and I always say this to each other around the holidays, so I thought this would be perfect.

I thought this would be a nice card to simply colored with several bold fonts. I am also planning on making this into larger prints if the interest is there.

ptp_card_xmascheer3pk_1I hope you like the way they came out. They are going to be my personal greeting card this holiday season. But feel free to pick up a set to send out yourself. They are available in my Etsy Shop.

Uncategorized

New Legend of Zelda Buttons

“It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.”

Legend of Zelda ButtonsNew pin-back buttons from Pink Toe Press.

Confession time: I’m a Gamer Girl. I really love video games and have an especially soft soft-spot for the Legend of Zelda franchise. I still remember the day that my parents got me a Gameboy that came with the Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening game cartridge. I was completely unable to put the game down for days, captivated by the characters and puzzles. After that came my first love, the Nintendo 64. My siblings and I didn’t leave the house for days and we barely slept or ate. All we did was play Mario Kart or similar racing games for hours and hours. But then…Then came the Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. I must have logged 100’s of hours on that game. I could go on and on. But… “Hey Listen!”


Hylian Shield Buttons

The Hylian Shield buttons are a fun new addition to Pink Toe Press.

That brings me from the true topic of this post…Pink Toe Press’ newest addition: Retro Zelda Hylian Shield Buttons. With designs drawn by yours-truly and made into 1-inch pin-back buttons, they are the perfect addition to your bomb bag or tunic! I currently have designs from Link’s Awakening and a Link to the Past as well as the Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. Each shield was hand-drawn and colored. They were a lot of fun for me to make and I look forward to making similar projects again in the near future! Stay tuned!

Here is a sneak peek of some of the new items you’ll be able to find at Pink Toe Press:

Legend of Zelda Shields

Can you guess what these are?

Are you…STUCK?

(they’re stickers…coming soon!)

buttons, etsy shop, Halloween, Illustration

Scary Monsters Super Buttons

Monsters? In August? It seems like people are talking about  monsters earlier and earlier every year. But these monsters are special! They are NEW pin-back buttons from Pink Toe Press and they are a fun new retro-styled addition to the button lineup at Pink Toe Press.

Finger Monster Buttons

Retro finger-monster buttons from Pink Toe Press.

These NEW buttons from Pink Toe Press are a fun addition to any button collection. They feature original illustrations of classic finger monsters. Each monster was inspired by the classic monsters, hand drawn, and made into a cute little button just for you! They are great for the young and the young at heart. Each button pack comes with a complete set of 4 Retro Finger Monsters. Too cool, huh?

Artwork, Screen Printing

The Process of Screen Printing

I’ve been printing a lot of new tote bags lately! They are currently available for purchase in my Etsy Shop! I thought it would be interesting to share some of my process photographs with you. It is important to show the polished final product. But with something as hands-on as screen printing, I think it is important to show the process as well!

Screen printing process: tote bag
Carefully pulling the ink through the screen to make the print on canvas. 

It’s important to have your inks mixed before you start printing. You can either buy ready-made ink colors or mix your own! This red-orange ink was made from a pre-mixed orange and process red. I’m using my smallest squeegee to make sure I get the right coverage and pressure with each print.

All that careful work paid off! Look at that beautiful print! Since I am only printing with one screen today, the printed bags can be hung up to dry right away. On to the next bag!

Screen printing process: tote bag
The finished print: Looking GOOD!

When it’s time to change a color you need to wash the screen out COMPLETELY and let it dry. There is a chance that some of the ink from the first color would pass through with the new ink color if you are not careful, and that will muddle your colors or, even worse: dry in your screen.  Between colors (multitasking while waiting for the screen to finish drying) I heat-pressed the first set of bags so that the colors be permanently on the bag and will not run if the bag gets wet!

Screen printing process: tote bag
Back in black! The black ink is a little thicker than the orange ink, so it takes a little more ink to print the same design in black.

 

Some of my new tote bags are made from brilliant colors of cotton canvas. Black looks best on them, so I changed ink colors to black.

Screen printing process: tote bag
Carefully lifting the screen away from the bag. This is one reason why it is called “pulling” a print!

Screen printing process: tote bag
Go Green! This bright green canvas is one of my new favorites!

More colors of tote bags coming soon. I am in the process of MAKING MY OWN TOTE BAGS out of 100% cotton canvas made in the USA to ensure the quality and colors are up to my high standards! New colors include yellow, natural canvas, and avocado.

Screen printing process: tote bag
I am even offering small purse-size (or kid-size) tote bags! They are 9 x 12 inches and are a really great size!

All of these amazing tote bags are available in my Etsy Shop!

Artwork, buttons, New Artwork

For the Love of Buttons

You all know by now that I love pin-back buttons, right? I’ve been designing a zillion more 1-inch pin-back buttons for sale online in my Etsy Shop and for retailers that carry my Pink Toe Press items. I’ve been making most designs available as individual buttons and in fun designer packs. The packs are the best way to go because they group like buttons together. There are a bunch of new button packs available in my Etsy Shop! Check them out!

New Button Assortment
Assorted 1-inch pin-back buttons. Great new designs!!!

New Button Assortment
A close-up of the buttons. Ain’t nothin’ better than new buttons!

Stay tuned for more info on button packs and some NEW TOTE BAGS that I now have available!!! I can’t wait to start putting buttons on jackets, tote bags, etc. Now available in my Etsy Shop!