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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Design is a Verb

Well according to Wikipedia “Design is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system”  Design has different meanings depending on the field it’s being used in. In some instances the creation of an object is the design.  To create a design as a verb as in creating drawings or plans. A plan or finished design as in a work of art  would be a noun. Designing can mean adding details and developing something from scratch.  That’s how many of my designs in my store come to be. I start with a small idea, begin to draw it and add detail and decorate it as new ideas form and I can see a finished design.  People have asked me how I come up with my designs and really aside from being inspired by nature and life in general it’s just a matter of being creative, experimenting and going with an idea that pops in your mind. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t but it’s all a creative experience. 

Designers are those who artistically or skilfully come up with ideas or plans intended for a definite purpose. Designers are basically creators of a style. For example there are designers in many different fields such as digital designers, home designers, fashion designers, jewelry designers, hair designers, engineers etc. A designer is a person who creates and will often see a design through to its completion.

There are many types of digital design, some are more well known than others. There are web designers, digital imaging, 3D modeling, digital coding, etc. Not all digital designers deal with all of these methods many specialize in just one or more. In my business the work I do in this area of design is basically digitally created designs using my Samsung tablet, drawing with a digital pen. Most of my creations are from scratch although recently I’ve found some great graphic prints and shapes that I’ve been able to incorporate into my designs. Sometimes starting with a graphic can be inspiring and help get the juices flowing. I also love to photograph nature and travel scenes and use these on many of the products in my store as well.

Well I hope all this talk of designing has put you in the mood to go be creative, whatever it is you do, be inspired and let your creativity flow! Here are some of my latest designs below…

What’s you experience with design? How do you come up with ideas? Please feel free to share your thoughts!

Teddy Bear with Honey Pot Baby Shower Invitation

Pink Teddy Bear Baby Shower Postage

Modern Stacking Teacups Tees

Stacking Teacups Business Card

Blue Modern Thank You Greeting Cards

Modern Yellow Stripes and Dots Birthday Invitation


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Revving Up Your Metabolism

Your metabolism is the rate at which your body burns the calories you consume. Basically it’s how your body converts the food you eat into energy and then puts it to use. Recently I’ve been hearing and thinking a lot about how one’s metabolism works and how you can make your metabolism work better no matter your body type. Some people have a fast metabolism while others seem to have a sluggish metabolism.

As a person ages one’s metabolism tends to change as well. Factors that can help us control our metabolism are exercise, eating a balanced diet, as well as how often you eat and keeping yourself properly hydrated throughout the day.

One of my favourite ways that I’ve found to boost my own metabolism is drinking a glass of hot water (boiled) with a pinch of cayenne pepper added to it, sometimes I’ll add lemon juice for a change. Drinking this before putting anything else into my body has definitely made a difference in how I feel in the mornings. Stomach is flatter and no bloating! I heard it said somewhere that having a drink like this is like giving your organs a massage. Anyways I like it! In the evening I’ll have another mug of this before bed. The morning is still coffee time! (but not until after this drink)

Hot spices can increase your metabolism and keep you burning calories steadily throughout the day. There are many foods and drinks that can boost your metabolism.  Here is a list of some of them below.

Lemon/cayenne hot water drink, green tea, Greek yoghurt, raw almonds, apples, spinach, hot peppers, broccoli, curry powder, cinnamon, beans and berries. There are more but this is just a small list to get you thinking about what you put into your body.

Exercise has always been important to me in order to maintain a fit and healthy body. There are so many great types of sports one can do. Whether it’s  gym workouts, home workouts, running, power walking, hiking, swimming there is never an excuse to do nothing. Just a few minutes a day of cardio and lifting light weights can rev up that metabolism. Remember muscle burns more calories than fat. Well I hope you enjoyed this read and incorporate something to rev your metabolism.

Back to business, here are some of the latest creations from Designs by Shell, please stop by for a visit as I’m adding new items daily.

Chain of Hearts Tee Shirt

30th Birthday Zebra Pattern Mugs

Purple Blossom Wedding Thank You Sticker

Pink Frosted Cupcake Postage

Pink Stars on a Zebra Print Background Shirt

Blue Hearts Table Seating Card


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Becoming a Fearless Learner

Perhaps you’ve heard the term ‘fearless learner’ and wondered what exactly does it mean. My husband Brian, called me a ‘fearless learner’ as I was stretching and learning my way through so many new things when I first started my online business a few years ago.

The internet was fairly new to me as I’d really only used e-mail and Google search before this. I had to learn so much in order to be confident in running my online business. I was intimidated and scared to try things in the beginning but eventually I just had to test the waters so to speak and get over the feeling of being afraid at what would happen if I hit this button or that. In the first few months I was often calling my husband to say ‘such and such’ is on the screen and I don’t know what to do? He’d say “well what do you think you should do” and then “so go ahead and try it"! Which scared as I was I’d do as he said and then as time went on I stopped asking him what to do and just tried things on my own. The ‘fearless learner’ part!  :-) I had to learn to use marketing websites and leave comments in forums and learn to blog, which at first was kind of scary too but eventually it all got easier and now is just a regular part of my day!

Fear can be a big show stopper for many people, it can really incapacitate someone and prevent them from performing the simplest tasks. Many people deal with anxiety and fear based emotions on a regular basis. Getting over or working through your fears can be challenging but very rewarding when you accomplish it.

Here are some quotes to inspire you as you become a ‘fearless learner’.

Be a fearless learner” – B. Kuhn

“You are never too old to be a student” – S. Kuhn

“Every artist was first an amateur” – Ralph W. Emerson

“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he could not do” – Henry Ford

“To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.” – Stephen R. Covey

“Creativity is as important as literacy” – Ken Robinson

“The way we see the problem is the problem” – Stephen R. Covey

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original” – Ken Robinson

Well as always I’ve been working on lots of creative design for Designs by Shell …. here’s a sample below.

Safari Animal Pattern T-shirt

Wild Animal Print Jewel Tones

Animal Print Wild Thing T-shirt

Orange and Yellow Summer Floral Messenger Bag

Purple and Black Leopard Pattern Thank You

Purple and Black Leopard Pattern Business Card


Sunday, February 3, 2013

I Have No Idea

Please tell me this has happened to you! Being a regular blogger,(once a week) every now and then I find myself staring at a blank screen with absolutely no idea of what I’m going to blog about. Today is one of those days! I know that coming up with new ideas and fresh topics is a challenge for many people, even the best writer’s struggle with this at times. My husbands advice to me was to just pick a title and start writing and the thoughts will come. So that’s what I’m doing today.

Perhaps you’ve been thinking about starting a new business and are having trouble with the planning or direction you should take. Maybe you need to rethink the business that you’re doing right now and find ways to improve it and get it moving forward. You may have thought you had your business plan figured out but then when it came to implementing it nothing seemed to be panning out the way you had envisioned it. Well I thought I’d share some tips that might help you before you start up that new business. You might get inspired with an idea to make the business you have just a little better.

1) Planning can’t be stressed enough here, “a fail to plan is a plan to fail” – Stephen R. Covey …Enough said, right! Don’t just jump right in, work out a business plan step by step.

2) Check out business’ that are similar to the one you’ll be starting. Collect ideas, make an idea board on Pinterest . You can even gather ideas that you find there.

3) Before you begin it’s good to build and create an identity for yourself. This can also be called ‘Branding.’  Writing a blog is a good way to allow people to learn about you, promoting and maintaining an on-line presence is really essential if you have an on-line business.

4) Learn to network with other business owner’s. Join networking platforms, business sites and share and gain information from the forums on these sites.

5) In the on-line world, business’ come and go constantly, technology is always changing, pushing business’ to grow or go!  Do your research to stay current! 

6) The biggest advice I have is to be sure you are passionate about your business. If not, your business will reflect that and customers will also pick up on it. Passion is Key… and oh don’t forget to ‘Be a fearless learner’ …

Well there, I just talked myself through writing this blog where at first I had no idea what I would be talking about today!  The thoughts did begin to flow…

I love my creative business and I am always working on fresh designs for products in my store Designs by Shell. Here are a few of my latest ones…

XOX Hugs and Kisses iPad Mini Covers

Modern Circle and Square Design Tag For Luggage

Pink Puffy Heart Design Beverage Coaster

Floating Cubes and Hearts Thank You Labels

Purple Diamonds Thank You Greeting Cards

Pink Quilted Diamonds Stamps