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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Talk Back: The National Stationery Show buzz on Twitter

Exhibitors, journalists, and stationery enthusiasts are chatting #NSS--sharing resources and looking to each other to get prepared. Conversation on Twitter includes honest "new-school" jitters, exhibitors looking for advice + opinions as they prepare, and journalists reminding everyone of their upcoming submission deadlines and hot topics.

Click any of the tweets above to follow or reply to the original Twitter author. Read the newest #NSS posts on Twitter.

Contribute to my ongoing National Stationery Show Tips and Tricks for Exhibitors! Add your comment in response to my question below.. Or suggest a topic or ask your own question. 

Question: As an #NSS exhibitor, what did you wish you'd known in advance?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

10 Downloadable iPhone, Android G1, and Other Mobile Phone Wallpapers

A monster appetite for tweet served donuts (inspired by Twitter), Guinea Pig splashing in puddles beneith a giant red umbrella, an owl pattern in pink or brown, pink robots, lost dog & flea, Tink in the forrest, gnomes, and others!
Guinea Umbrella iPhone Wallpaper Monsterous Appetite Donut Tweets iPhone Wallpaper
OWLS Pink iPhone Wallpaper Owls Brown iPhone Wallpaper
 Lost Dog and Depressed Flea Android Wallpaper Pink Robot Android Wallpaper OWLS Brown Android Wallpaper
Portraits Android G1 Wallpaper Tink Forrest Android G1 Wallpaper Gnomes Android Wallpaper
Click any image to proceed to Flickr and view all available wallpapers.  Cheer up your iPhone, Android G1, Blackberry or other mobile device today. Wallpapers are available in a variety of mobile phone sizes.

Follow me on Twitter or subscribe to my blog if you want to receive updates about new wallpapers and other free downloadable items. Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tips for exhibiting at trade shows

This week I'm excited to share some images from my booth at the National Stationery Show 2008 along with tips, ideas, and links to further examples.
image for blog
Let's talk signage- 
  • The obvious: Your company name and logo should be large and legible. The materials don't have to be fancy - my sign was made using foamcore, razor blade, tissue paper, and tape.
  • The hidden detail: Often it is difficult for buyers to find the booths they are looking for in a sea of people. Don't make it more difficult.  Include  a sign with your booth number that can be seen from the aisle. 
  • The "uh-oh": What happens if your sign arrives damaged? Have a backup plan and easy access to your graphic files in case you need to come up with something quick.
Booth, tabletop display, & sign
Booth walls and lighting-
  • The Mainstay: White foam core is the cheapest hard-scape choice and sometimes all that's in the budget. Draw, paint, or paste things on it.
  • The Secret Sauce: Order the extra pole that goes across the front of the booth. Including some lights across the front increases illumination and is worth the expense.
  • Take a tip from retail: Displays should be easy to see without buyers having to bend over or look down or around crowds of people.
Examples of clever build-outs using variety of materials: Two Trick Pony, Hello Lucky, Cielo Blue, Tiselle, Pancake & Franks
birthday wall
wall of chaos
The first couple of times I participated in shows my cards were removable. I ended up spending a lot of time readjusting everything and being fussy. This last time I attached the cards to the walls. Still, a few people tried to remove them, so I'm glad I had some extra tape around during the show. The craziest moment was when a guy turned to me and said "I just don't understand, what is somebody supposed TO DO with these? .. Frame them?" As I try to body block him to prevent him from pulling more items off the wall, I responded: "Sir, this is a stationery show and this is a greeting card." He blinked twice and I'm sure he was still confused. Click on any of the photos above to visit Flickr for thoughts and details.

In a nutshell-
The Good: I ate all my meals at the crepe cart (inside) or the hotdog cart (outside)
The Bad: My electrical outlet was put in the wrong place and when I requested it be fixed, I was essentially blackmailed into signing a document authorizing the electrical people to charge me for something they refused to estimate up front. Thankfully it was less than $50.
The Ugly: Kinkos in the Javitz charged $.83 for a color copy and I spent a fortune making extra copies when handouts went fast.
The Crazy: I bought a cheap bubblejet printer and had it shipped to my hotel.
The Totally Insane: I was on my own during breakdown and was overwhelmed from hunger and sleepiness. I decided to flee the chaos and come back later. Thankfully I packed up all of my samples and order forms, etc. and took them with me in my trusty rolling suitcase ... because when I got back there was nothing left besides my floor and a string of lights. It was like the scene where the Grinch steals Christmas. All my props and even the shipping container were GONE. Being fully responsible and obviously naive, I have forced myself to shrug this off and am thankful nothing irreplaceable was lost. Bye bye ceramic deer. I will miss you most of all.

My next post will touch on what materials are needed for the show (order forms, catalogs, pricing, pr kits, etc.) and some cost saving tips. I'll also quickly cover some of the basics - how stores place orders, methods of payment, etc. Check out
my recent tweets for a sneak peek at a few of these tips.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Downloadable iPhone Wallpaper: "Portraits"

Family portraits hang in the dark hall of an old victorian.. a lost teddy has been abandoned on the floor.. Characters from the Owen Says card line re-imagined for your phone.
First up in the series of cellphone wallpapers I'll be releasing: a little something for iPhone enthusiasts. I had a lot of fun designing it. Click here or the image to download.

Check out all the available freebies from Owen Says. There are just as many mobile phone screen sizes as there are mobile phone brands.. so if there is a certain size you want, let me know! Follow me on Twitter or subscribe to my blog if you want to receive updates about new wallpapers and other free downloadable items. Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gnomes + Mushrooms Desktop Wallpaper Organizer

The gnome desktop calendar has been very popular, so I created this gnomey organizational version! Download the desktop wallpaper and get organized today!
Gnomes love to stick their nose in your business, it's only right they get organizing. Pass it along! Download the wallpaper for free in the size that matches your monitor resolution:

Instructions for changing your wallpaper: PC | MAC

Shaggy Dog + Depressed Flea Organizational Desktop Wallpaper

Let a happy shaggy lost dog and a depressed flea help you organize your desktop! Download the desktop wallpaper and organize by: take action, reference, delegate/defer.
Pass it along! Download the wallpaper for free in the size that matches your monitor resolution:

Instructions for changing your wallpaper: PC | MAC

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Organize! Robot Desktop Wallpaper

Spring cleaning starts on my computer desktop. Join me! Download the robot desktop wallpaper and organize by: take action, reference, delegate/defer, and a worksheet where the love-bot can hold your most important file!

Know someone who loves robots or could use some organization? Robots love organizing. Beep. Beep. Beep. Pass it along! Download the wallpaper for free in the size that matches your monitor resolution: 

Instructions for changing your wallpaper: PC | MAC

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Uncluttered stainless fridge door no more, grocery lists come out of hiding

I love stainless fridges - but all those cool magnet and magnet-backed products don't work on stainless surfaces. So I was excited when last year at The National Stationery Show I came across the colorful and unique Happeez product line of clips, notepads, + frames. 
On my fridge: a doodle "teddies like breakfasts", a cloth-covered frame with a photo of me and my eldest brother, and a notepad for jotting down notes and grocery lists.  

The Happeez products will gladly stick to stainless, tile, glass, and just about anything else without a lick of residue. From their website: "Revolutionary material grips to slick surfaces, including stainless steel refrigerators, with no residue. Stick and restick again and again." How does it grip to all those surfaces? I have not idea! It is such amazing stuff that it is patent pending. I love my set in the Mod Dot pattern and I made fast fans of the recipients (and jealous friends) of the Happeez products I have gifted. Rid yourself of empty fridge door syndrome - get your own Happeez products.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Springtime: feathers in your hair, butterflies whispering in your ear, favorite charms around your neck..

Delicate jewelry and showstopping-yet-demure hair accessories - the TenThings store is a delight.
I am sticking my big toe into spring and I'm ready to jump in! Are you ready for some new favorites? Come meet Kerri J!

There are a bounty of items from TenThings that are a perfect compliment to a breezy spring day. Long neglected, some of my lonely vintage dresses will get a new feathered friend in the form of a fine headband. For kicking around town during the day you can't beat the voodoo heart necklace charm! Visit TenThings and the companion store Tulle on Etsy and read the Blah Blah Blah Blahg.

{inspiration} I discovered TenThings when I was lucky enough to have her win Crow & Canary's Twitter giveaway for my gnome bookmark. Follow @Ten10Things on Twitter!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

{Peek} Donut Tweet Monster Wallpaper + Record Player Print

Dreaming of fresh donuts, glazed to perfection and delivered by an army of eager tweets. Mice hanging out by the record player, singing a tune.
I miss my drive-thru Krispy Kreme nights in Atlanta. Hot steaming donut deliciousness. YUMMY! Soon I will release my factory of donut producing tweets feeding a monstrous appetite. A new digital wallpaper series for your computer, phone, and the printable version too!

Rejoice! One of my favorite cards from the Owen Says line, Rocking Mice Record Player, is now available as a print

{BONUS} Near the end of the month I will release the popular gnome wallpaper minus the calendar - so anyone who wants to get their gnome-on year round gets their wish.

Stay tuned! Subscribe and be the first to get all the newest updates.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Crow & Canary Giveaway - recycled multilingual thank you cards

7 chances to take home one of the most popular items from the Owen Says greeting card line.

from the desk of Crow & Canary-
Our Owen Says giveaway has arrived! This round, we are gifting 6 hand glittered "thank you" cards printed on 75% recycled paper. The set comes in Owen Says' signature packaging; Cleverly designed for reuse, the inside is printed with a bookmark and mini-planner. Tres chic and oh, so green. To sweeten the pot, six singles of this popular multilingual notecard are also up for grabs. Yep, seven chances to win, my friends. Best of luck..
Click here to enter

shop for this card online

Saturday, March 07, 2009

miss waxy fingers

Today I wish I were painting instead of doing chores. Unfortunately there is laundry to do. Boo! 

Saturday oldie but goodie
past artwork postings: morose teddy  |  tiny home

{artist spotlight}  
You might recognize Portland artist :: Amy Ruppel :: whose work popped up in Target's 2008 Christmas holiday campaign. Her charming and very popular encaustic paintings feature her signature bird images. 

encaustic method info: text |  videos
search encaustic: on etsy
follow encaustic chat on twitter: 

Thursday, March 05, 2009

:: red :: pops everywhere

It's undeniable, the color red is no wallflower. Poppies, fire, strawberries and stop signs- red is the old standby to add an "exclamation point" to just about anything. Red creates icons with a shade of lipstick or on upholstered chair. 

Lately I've been noticing vibrant red popping up everywhere, from Oscars dresses to interior design. Why not paired with library-cool frocks & leathers (ala Prada) or neutrals (C. Kane)? Not ready for an all red kitchen, well then maybe take a chance on the retro styled mixer. Be brave with red.

{red in my life} 
on my wall: painting by Ian Nicholas
on my wrist: perky vintage bracelet
in my hood: red cargo van

{my inspiration}
I happened upon this vintage coffee press for sale in The Estate Store's virtual storefront. I started to collect a folder of bookmarks titled 'red' to keep ideas organized for this post. 

credits & links for main graphic: clockwise from boots: 

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Giveaway: Gnome Themed Bookmark

Carina over on the Crow & Canary Blog is hosting a little contest. Here are the details.  

"Owen Says and I are working on announcing giveaway no.2 later this week. In the meantime, we thought it would be fun to do a mini giveaway. If you would like to win this no-slip, gnome themed bookmark: join or login to your twitter account and send me a direct message by Wednesday March 3rd at midnight. That's all you need to do to enter, easy peasy! Stay tuned for details on our second Owen Says sponsored giveaway, I promise you won't want to miss it!" tweet her now: @crowandcanary
congratulations @ten10things

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Entertaining How-to: an item you already have can save guests from mystery dip + an impressive homemade gift.

Uncommon uses for common things. There was quite a spread and I had five minutes to figure out how to label each of the different dips before hungry adults would be knocking on the door. If everything is clearly marked, no palette would be offended by mystery dip experimentation.  A marker and clothes pins did nicely. All guests were now safe; Every vegetable destined for the muncher's choice of hummus, blue cheese, goddess, or cowboy ranch dip. There are very few items I'm convinced have only one use. I challenge you to name some other clever and quick entertaining tricks.

Homemade gifts are always welcome. This wrapper is just outright cool and deceives at first--it is so professional it's hard to believe it is handmade. The writing is so precise it is typographic; Now that's a font I would buy. The list of ingredients tops off a perfect homemade gift that is both personal and clearly made with love. The packaging was so impressive it seemed a shame to open. However, that worry was quickly pushed aside for an inspection of the gorgeous bread that was contained within. 

{Give a shout out to the birthday boy @worldofbarbee. Take a listen to the breadmaker's band The Helping Hands here.}

Copyright 2009 Jennifer Erts unless another artist credited. Do not copy, reproduce, reuse, modify any of the content or images from this site without permission.