Friday, November 9, 2012


The original scratch off save the date card was a huge hit and attracted a new client with the hopes of making her save the date more unique. After months of back and forth ideas, and multiple variations, a final selection was chosen. What makes this go around with the scratch off so much more successful is the actual scratch off.  If you look on the internet, tons of DIY blogs post a complicated version of how to make a scratch off concoction yourself out of soap and paint. After multiple attempts, I was over it and looked into a better way to achieve this same look... insert scratch off stickers! Genius! and believe it or not wayyyy cheaper than the DIY solution. My client purchased the stickers, and will place them on the cards herself. Below are a few of the options that were thrown around for this particular project.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I have been a bad blogger. Work got busy, freelance became slow and in between all of that... we bought a house and became engaged!

As soon as I got engaged the question I heard most often was "when is the wedding!", the second question I got frequently asked was "are you going to design your invitations yourself?". To answer everyone's questions... October 5, 2013 and yes, absolutely!

I'd be lying if I said I haven't already started thinking of the designs, but now that I am actually designing for MY wedding, there is a lot more pressure and I am having a hard time making my mind up. I have a ton of great ideas and a lot of time to think it through.

While I mull through ideas for our save the dates and invitations, I decided to start by designing something small... something for my bridesmaids. While most brides give their girls presents and gifts, I on the other hand am a bride on a budget, so I created this sweet little card to give to them... or as Collin calls it "an invitation to be my bridesmaid".

I designed all the cards and printed them out. The diamond printed in a light brown color, I then traced it and filled it in with a fine tip glue pen and the sprinkled embossing glitter on top. Super easy. Super fun. I love the finished glittery look.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Need a custom framed print?
Just ask! These special prints were designed for a friend and her family...

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I have a baby shower to attend in a few weeks, and have designed two custom prints for baby Austin's nursery...

Monday, July 30, 2012


I had a wedding shower to attend this past weekend, and created this for the bride. It looked really nice all put together in a black frame with a white mat.

If you are looking for a quick shower gift, reach out to me for a custom print!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I just found out that my latest design submitted to GCD, (Schnizler Christmas Card) has been chosen as a winner and will be on sale on GCD this winter! Minted has not yet posted the winners of their design challenge, so don't forget to vote for my designs there as well. Find the link to my "voting badge" on the right corner of my site. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


In addition to the holiday card designs I submitted to Minted last week, I also designed a card to submit to another card company, Greeting Cards Direct. Last month, I designed a Hanukkah card for GCD and it got selected as a winner, so I am hoping to have some additional good luck.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


With Megan's wedding at the end of this month, the last of the printed pieces have been completed.  Below is the invitation to the Rehearsal dinner/barbecue.  The rest of the pieces (menu, table numbers, table cards) will have to wait till after the wedding to be posted.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Yesterday I attended my good friend Bethany's baby shower. Hands down it was the most beautiful shower I have ever been to in my entire life.  As my gift for the baby girl, I made two pieces of art to hang in her nursery.


Friday, June 1, 2012


Now is the time when all the PhotoCard companies are asking for design submissions for their Holiday 2012 collection. For this first round of designs,  I decided to submit two of my original designs to Minted.  Next week I will finish working on the remaining two designs and submit those to PhotoCardDirect (where my Hanukkah card will be sold). Since a lot of companies ask designs to submit artwork, as a designer you are not allowed to submit the same design to multiple companies. I'm taking a gamble and hoping that at least one of these does well.  On the bottom right corner of my site, you will notice I included a "voting badge".  Feel free to vote for my designs directly on the Minted website that way.

(a little fun fact: they provide you with a wide variety of "photos" to use on your design layout... I always for some reason feel silly coming up with the "fake" family names though?)

Thursday, May 31, 2012


A friend of mine is a personal trainer and has decided to open up a mobile crossfit gym (so cool, right?) and has asked me to design a logo for her new business. Designing a logo for a "gym" definitely took me out of my comfort zone of what I am used to... aka cutsie stationary and invitations.  I had to get out of the mindset of "cute" and "sweet" and think more along the lines of "tough" and "manly". 

There was a lot of back and forth... and a lot of different versions. But in the end, the below design was what was selected and I am very pleased with how it turned out. It has been a fun project to be a part of, the only thing I am bummed about is the fact that she and her new company are across the country!

The business cards for her and her business partner are below.  Next up, I will be assisting in designing the wrap (artwork) featured on their trailer and t-shirts. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


My Sheep Dreams art print is finally on sale on the Minted website! Check it out here!!!
I'm am so excited to have my print on sale and I love how they paired my print with a few others from their nursery art collection.

Monday, May 7, 2012


Is it time for a new look? I am having a hard time deciding on which design to use for my new business cards. Which look do you prefer?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


The invitations are done, mailed, and I can finally share them with you. Below are a few pictures of the printed pieces I took...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I wish this was my idea as I think it is absolutely adorable! A client of mine, Stephanie, saw this on Martha Stewart/pinterest and knew she wanted it for her STD's and enlisted me to re-design it.  

She wanted to stick closely to the original Martha inspired design, so all I really did was re-create it in her fall colors. After the design was made, I arranged printing through an online vendor and Stephanie laminated and painted on the "scratch off" paint herself.

I can't wait for my copy of the STD to arrive in the mail so I can test it out! I think the "scratch off" is a fun idea and I am already thinking of ways to incorporate it into another project.

Friday, April 20, 2012


I found out that there are a ton of companies out there sponsoring contests looking for designers to submit original work to their collections. One of the websites I started designing for specifically is The same rules apply for the other contests, a specific category is requested... I create and submit my design, and if selected I turn over my art files, receive a small cash prize then make commission on any sales made.

While I wait for my next invitation client, and in-between my full-time graphic design commitments, these challenges are the perfect outlet for me to feel creative, inspired and work on something really fun. The best part is, new contests open up weekly so there is always an opportunity to be designing something.

The first contest I found out about was for believe it or not, designing a Hanukkah photo card! I already had created this Hanukkah image back in December, so it was very easy to incorporate it into a photo card. For this contest, there is no "winner" or place rankings, but either way, my design was selected to be sold on their website.

Below is what the card will look like.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


A few weeks ago I entered the contest "Little Journeys Art Prints" at Minted. I submitted a few prints, and Sheep Dreams has won as an editors pick! What this means is, I win a cash prize, and submit my art files to Minted where my artwork will be sold. If/when my print gets purchased, I get 8% commission from the sale.

Preparing the files for print takes a little extra time, I had to create 2 additional color options, in 6 different sizes... resulting in 18 separate files.

I am please with how the color variations turned out and am happy to have my print chosen to be sold on their website.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Happy April! ...better a little late than never. Lots to post in the next few days including Megan's wedding invitations, a bachelorette party invite and accessories, a save the date, and an update on the results of a few design contests I entered.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Wedding workshop has begun. My apartment has been taken over... and so have all of my evenings. Hand making the invitations has its advantages to per-ordering generic ones, lots of work goes into each invite, and I have estimated each invitation to cost about $2.00 each.

The end result is going to look great and Megan really loves them so that's all that really matters!  Out of respect to Megan, I am not going to post the invitations until they have been sent out in the mail, but below are some of the options that that didn't quite make the cut. Her runner up was the third option.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Another bachelorette party... and this one's got a theme! Stacey and a few of her girlfriends are hosting a day of bachelorette fun for her best friend Elyse. Stacey came across a similar idea/invitation years ago and emailed it to me instantly saying "I found this adorable invitation, you need to make it!".  When the time came around to plan Elyse's bachelorette, Stacey knew exactly what she wanted, and of course asked for my help. I designed this fun invitation/itinerary for the girls as well as a few fun bachelorette games. Stacey and the girls have put a lot of hard work into planning this special day for Elyse, and I was happy to be able to help.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Art Print Challenge

So I mentioned a while back that my design submitted to the Minted art print challenge won not only an editors pick award, but was also selected to be on display at the Alt design summit! Here is a picture of my design on display in all its glory!

Minted is getting ready to post all the winning art prints on sale on their website.  I was asked to create 2 additional prints with different color schemes to match certain rooms. Minted provided an option of "12 rooms to choose". Below are the 2 room inspirations I choose to create my additional prints to match. A coral and yellow room. Coming up with the alternate color schemes was a lot more challenging than I anticipated, having the room inspiration definitely helped bring everything together.

Coral inspiration

Yellow inspiration

Original design

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Thanks to everyone for their support about the art prints challenge. Because of all the positive feedback and support from the previous challenge, I have decided to enter another challenge... the "Little Journey's" art print challenge. Which is a collection of art prints specifically for a nursery. I felt particularly inspired for this challenge as I have two friends who recently announced they are expecting. I designed the prints with them in mind as I created fun art work that I could envision in each of their future nurseries. (...your welcome)

Below are the designs I submitted. Feel free to click on the link below to "vote" for my design.

Sheep Dreams - vote here

ABC's - vote here

Monday, February 20, 2012


As a designer one of my favorite websites to get ideas and inspiration is At least 2 to 3 times a month, Minted has "design challenges" calling all designers to submit their work. The previous categories have been: moving announcement, wedding invitation, graduation announcement, etc... The winners of these design challenges win cash prizes (first $500, second $250, third-twenty $150, special awards $150, and editor's picks $100) and the opportunity for their design to be sold on Minted. A while back, I decided to participate in  the "arts print challenge". Basically I submitted a few prints.  I actually didn't tell anyone about the submission or the challenge... I'm not sure why, but I kind of did it for fun.  It was neat going on the the site and seeing other people actually voting and liking my designs (without having to force them to). 

A few weeks ago I got an email from Minted... here is what it said:

"Hi Dara! We’ve just been presented with an exciting opportunity to include a preview of Minted art prints on display for the designers and bloggers at this year’s Alt Design Summit! <>  We feel that your design is a perfect example of what’s to come when Minted takes the leap into luxe art prints. This also is an amazing opportunity to show off your work to some of the most influential design bloggers in the world. We are pre-requesting your files as early editor’s picks so that we can print art prints for the conference."

Here I was...all self-conscious about my submission and what do you know, I was selected as an early editors pick AND they want my print on display at what seems to be the coolest design conference! (oh ya, that also means I won $100!)

Below is the art print I submitted. It is 16"x16", picture this framed in a white frame.

Since my design was selected as an early editors pick, I was asked not to post/tell anyone about it until all the winners were chosen.  Now, all the winners are posted on their site, and I should be receiving my "prize" in the mail any day now. I also have to re-create the print in 5 different sizes in 3 color options each. (definitely stressing over the alternate color combinations!) My print will be on sale on the Minted website for people to purchase and on-top of my cash prize, I will receive an additional 8% commission on all of my prints sold.

I am super flattered to have actually won an art challenge!  This is definitely a confidence boost, and gives me a little more confidence to participate in more challenges. Another challenge is coming up at the end of the month and I intend on participating and submitting a few prints. I have already started working on the new designs... be on the lookout for a post about the next challenge (yes, this time I will inform you about it as well as make you vote)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


You either love it or hate. Me, I have always loved Valentine's Day. I'm a huge fan of anything/anyone that encourages eating chocolate and love any excuse to buy different colored M&M's. Valentine's Day has always been a holiday celebrated in our family and I can always expect a festive package from my parents, and sisters around this time of year.

Below are a few of the Valentine's I have created and am thinking about giving to Collin.

This year, I also plan on designing my own valentine postcards to send out to all my loved ones and that includes you! If you would like to receive a Valentine from yours truly, leave me a message with your home address!