Tuesday, 21 October 2014

NEW Tiny Totes (Get Yours For Free!)

Since they launched in August, the STACIE SWIFT Tote Bags have been selling like hot cakes... turns out there are lots of Crazy Cat Ladies out there in particular ;)

I wanted to create some smaller bags, the perfect size for kids (or for grown ups to carry lunch or a book) and thought my Woodland Creatures would be a great fit for these new Tiny Totes.

These bags are just £5 each and would be a great Christmas gift, especially coupled with some matching stickers!

You can also get one of these Tiny Totes for free if you've yet to make an Etsy purchase. Etsy are giving £5 vouchers to anyone making a first time order, you just need to click here to get your voucher code :)

Which one would you spend your voucher on?


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Logo Design Commission ~ Sketchbook to Final Artwork

Recently I designed this cute crabby logo for the lovely Rachael from Foxglove & Gingersnap.

Rachael got in touch as she wanted a new look for her business page - sticking with the crab and foxglove images she wanted something that was still going to be immediately identifiable. This was her original logo:

I came up with a few ideas that were a little softer, featuring the handwritten font Rachael had asked for.
I always start with rough artwork in pencil, from here there's lots of room for tweaks and changes before settling on a final design.

We tried some variations in scale and font - and also gave the googly eyes a go - before settling on a final image. Once Rachael was happy I then redrew him in pen to create the finished outline.

By adding some colour and a few extra flowers the final logo was completed. It looks pretty snazzy on the Foxglove & Gingersnap page, don't you think?

If you'd like to commission your own logo or design work please get in touch ~ mail@stacieswift.com


Friday, 3 October 2014

Special Offer: Crazy Cat Goodie Boxes

Friday is usually the day for my Friday Feline post but instead this week's dose of cats comes in the shape of these Crazy Cat Goodie Boxes!

The STACIE SWIFT Blogger Boxes got a great reception when I posted them up a few weeks ago so I have created a special cat themed collection all boxed up in a pretty parcel.

Each box contains:
Crazy Cat Lady Tote
Cat Stickers
True Love Cats Card
Crazy Cat Lady Card
Menagerie Mini Prints (Tiger Collection)

There are only a handful of these parcels available and they only cost £15 per box! They will go live in my Etsy shop at 7pm this evening - I'll pop a little reminder online but get in quick if you want one.

More boxes will also be coming soon, themed with other STACIE SWIFT goodies :)

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Recipe: Cocoa Banana Walnut Loaf

This cake is a great way to use up old bananas, and you can never go wrong with chocolate!

I adapted a recipe I had that called for dark chocolate and used cocoa powder instead, this cake is really easy to whip up with ingredients you'll have in the cupboard already.

You'll need:

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed 
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 185g self raising flour
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 3 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • A couple of handfuls of  chopped walnuts
  • Icing sugar

Here's what you need to do:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line your loaf tin.

2. Mix the banana and sugar together until just combined. Then add in the flour, cocoa, eggs, oil and milk and stir it all together with a wooden spoon. Once they're mixed together fold in the walnuts - save a few for the end.

3. Put the mixture into the tin and bake for about 55mins (until a knife through the centre comes out clean). Leave to cool and when you're ready to serve add water to your icing sugar and drizzle over. Finish off your cake by sticking some more walnuts on the top.

Do you have any good recipes that use up food that would otherwise go to waste? Please share in the comments!


Friday, 26 September 2014

Friday Feline #14

Cat's Pyjamas Plate    

Cat Clock

Cat Mug

I've rounded up some lovely cat themed homewares this week, all available on Not On The High Street, I am very tempted to purchase myself one of these cat clocks from the lovely Lisa Jones Studio... not sure how many cat related products I can sneak into the house this week though (did you see my amazing new cat blanket on instagram!?).

If you'd prefer to spend your money on cat themed tote bags and stationery, then head over to the STACIE SWIFT shop, it is Friday after all ;)


Thursday, 25 September 2014

STACIE SWIFT Christmas Cards 2014

It might still seem like a million miles away but Christmas is definitely creeping in... in just 90 little days it will be the best day of the whole year! HURRAH!

I've been ridiculously organised this year and have got my 2014 card designs done and dusted well in advance, the new lines are now ready and live in the STACIE SWIFT Etsy shop too.

Four new designs are available, there's a mix of hand lettering and signature animals for this year :)
Love Yule

Happy Holly Days

Merry Christmouse

Hoppy Christmas

So if you're super organised you can snap these up individually or in packs of four over in the shop! I will also be adding some of the previous Christmas designs to the store shortly too.

As always, these can be purchased for wholesale, if you want more info please send enquiries to mail@stacieswift.com

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

ABC Of Great Business Emails

When you run your own business sending efficient emails is a must. In particular, if you are getting in touch with potential stockists and clients it really helps to be able to write emails that people want to read and reply to.

My previous life as a PA and my experience running STACIE SWIFT has helped me to compile these handy tips:

Write a snappy subject line

Make sure your subject line tells exactly what your email is about. You want to make your email stand out in a cluttered inbox and give a clear idea of the content - have a look in your inbox for inspiration, note the ones that you opened straight away and take inspiration from them.

Use a short, direct greeting
Don't be tempted to waffle on at the start of your email. And wherever possible make sure it is directed to an individual by name, a little bit of googling to find the correct contact details can go a long way!

The rest is as easy as A B C!
The body of your email can be separated into three sections to make sure it's to the point and encourages a response (unread or ignored emails won't increase your sales figures!).

A - Action State your purpose, explain why you are emailing and the reason you are getting in touch. Who are you? What do you want as a result of the email?

B - Background
Write out your key points, here is where you can sell yourself and your products! What can you offer? Why are your products special? Is there a catalogue or website that will give them more details?

C - Close
Put your call to action in here, clarify any further steps to placing an order or getting more info. How can potential stockists send you an order? What would you like them to do in response to your message?

Done! Remember before you press send to proof read and run your email through spell check, you want to make sure you are giving a good all-round impression.

Here's another post on email tips if you fancy giving your inbox a spruce up too! Animal alphabet prints are also for sale in my Etsy shop too :)