DIY business cards

DIY business cards 5 by shantele iannaI was talking to some customers the other day at a market stall and realised that I didn’t have any business cards to hand out. It is one of the most obvious things to have on hand to give people more information and direct them to my website and shop.

DIY business cards 3 by shantele iannaDIY business cards by shantele iannaI wanted to have some cards to hand out the next day at the shop so I didn’t want to go through a company that could take a couple of weeks to get them. I also wanted to add my sketches to the front and have a range of different designs. The only company I am aware of that allowed different designs on a batch of cards is moo and they would have taken a couple of weeks minimum to get here. So I designed and printed my own.

DIY business cards 2 by shantele iannaI have Photoshop elements and some pretty basic skills so there are probably far easier ways to do this but this is what I did:

  1. First I worked out the size of a business card, roughly xxx and worked out how many of these would fit on an A4 piece of paper. In my case it was about 12 at 85mm x 49mm;
  2. I then set up a blank canvas in Photoshop elements at A4 size (21 x 29.7cm or 8.27 x 11.69 inches)
  3. I divided the canvas up into 12 small rectangles similar to this method;
  4. I then dragged and dropped different jpeg’s images of my sketches into the rectangles. I had seven different sketches on hand so I ended up with seven different designs on my cards;
  5. Once I had filled the canvas I saved it and had 10 copies printed at office works.
  6. I then cut them out with a paper slicer and hand wrote all my business details onto the front and back.

DIY business cards 4 by shantele iannaI am happy with how these cards turned out, I love having a range of different designs on them and the hand lettering. They also worked out to be about 10 cents each, so a lot cheaper than I could find anywhere else and great to hand out to customers.

My sketching kit

It has been a while since I updated the blog post on what is in my sketching kit. I have added a few things since 2012 but am generally still using the same sketching kit by shantele ianna

I have tried out a few different journals over the past few years. The Milini, the Moleskine watercolour (whilst I love the paper quality I hate the landscape format), but have settled on the Stillman and Birn Alpha series sketchbook. When I am out sketching I prefer to the A5 portrait size with a hardbound spine rather than spiral bound, so that I can draw across both pages.

Here is a list of what I currently use:

  • Stillman and Birn A5 (Alpha series) sketchbook with white paper, I love these journals, the paper is 150gsm so it does buckle a little bit when I add watercolour but I love the quality, colour and size of these guys;
  • I have the Moleskine A4 size watercolour sketchbook, I bought this to try out the larger format and whilst I do like the paper, I rarely use it.
  • I also was given the tiny moleskine watercolour and never used it because it seemed to small. Then I thought about using it for a theme or series, and it got me motivated again. I currently am using it as a field guide for animals and plants I find on the farm and blog about it here.

blue tiger butterfly watercolor sketch by Shantele ianna

  • Winsor and Newton pocket sketch kit. I have replaced the pans with artist quality paints, and have been adding a squirt of Daniel smith cobalt teal blue, and Daniel Smith Quinacridone Rose to the left and right side of where the little brush goes. I love these two colours in my kit and use them a lot;
  • Two pentel water brushes that I love for their ease of use out in the field. I use a fine and a medium tip brush;
  • Two Pigma Micron pens in size 03 and 08. I am not a fan of these pens. I bought 5 pen pack of the range of nib sizes when I first started sketching because I had heard such good recommendations, but I find that the ends are too flimsy and always push in if you are not really gentle. They are great for putting a watercolour wash over the top of and never run, but I will not be getting more when these ones die;
  • Uni-ball Micro deluxe black waterproof pen. These are my favourite pens they are cheap and flow well and don’t run when covered with watercolour;
  • Uni-ball Signo white gel pen;
  • Uni-ball Signo fluoro pink gel pen;
  • Uni-ball Signo Gold gel pen;
  • A graphite pencil, eraser and sharpener.

So that’s it for now, I am always fighting the urge between making my kit simpler and buying more stuff. What about you? What are your favourite supplies?.

{Field guide Friday} Robber fly

This is a series on my blog this year where I will be sharing a sketch from my nature journal every Friday in an effort to keep myself drawing (at least weekly) and to hopefully inspire someone else while I’m at it. Hope you enjoy it!

robber fly watercolor sketch by Shantele iannaI missed last week due to being sick but am back today with a sketch of the Robber Fly. This insect took me a while to identify because I had never seen one before. Robber flies are predators that feed on other insects. They have a distinctive hollow space between their two large compound eyes. They have a prominent neck and large mouthparts used to attack other insects and suck out their insides, charming. They also have six legs that are long and hairy.

robber fly watercolor sketch 2 by Shantele iannaThe one that I drew was about 2.5cm long and had large green eyes, yellow and black striped legs and a large brown hunched back. I am not sure what species it is. To draw this guy I quickly took a reference photo on my phone when it landed on my finger. It would have been difficult to get the details without using a photo.

robber fly watercolor sketch 3 by Shantele iannaApparently Robber flies are common in bushland around northern NSW and Brisbane. I don’t know whether they bite humans like the march fly but their mouthparts look similar. Hopefully I don’t have to find out. Have you seen any of these insects before? and do you know what species this is?

Urban sketching at the Lismore Museum

Lismore museum building sketch by shantele iannaOne rainy day in Lismore I decided to sit out the front of the museum and do some more urban sketching. The building itself is the old municipal building. It was built in 1928 and housed the council chambers until 1991 when it was turned into the museum.

I was born in Lismore and grew up here and am ashamed to say that I have never been inside this museum. I have visited museums all over the world, and often look for them when heading to a new country or town. But it took me 14 years to visit the one in my home town!

Lismore museum watercolor sketch by Shantele iannaThere are fantastic exhibits inside that provide information about the regions local aboriginal culture, European settlement, and shipping history. The Wilson River passes right through the town so there is a lot of information on the regions history with flooding and shipping. There is a fantastic display of animals and shells also.

I just wandered around and drew a few things that caught my eye. I was the only one there so I didn’t have to fight for space to sketch. There is a fascinating “sea medicine chest” full of lots of lotions and potions for all sorts of aliments. The chest was used by a surgeon on the steamship SE George in 1895. It was fun to walk around and sketch and for just a gold coin donation it is worth the visit.

{Field guide Friday} Blue Tiger Butterfly

This is a new series on my blog this year where I will be sharing a sketch from my nature journal every Friday in an effort to keep myself drawing (at least weekly) and to hopefully inspire someone else while I’m at it. Hope you enjoy it!

blue tiger butterfly watercolor sketch by Shantele iannaI was slashing the weeds in the paddock the other day and noticed lots and lots of butterflies on the white cotton. I have seen plenty of wanderer butterflies while I was growing up in the local area but had not seen many of the blue and dark brown ones.

blue tiger butterfly watercolor sketch 2 by Shantele iannaI found out that they are the blue tiger butterflies. They are easily identified from the pale blue patterns on dark brown/black wings. They are said to migrate from north Queensland and are often seen in high numbers in the northern rivers and Brisbane area in summer. I also found out that a butterfly’s age can be determined from the vibrancy of the colours on the wings, becoming more faded as they get older.

Our farm wedding portraits and reception photos

Mr & Mrs Meagher_342

We had both our ceremony and reception on our farm, so we didn’t have to travel very far to get our photos taken. Luckily, because a huge storm hit not long after the ceremony, and bought hail and heavy rain. But just like after most storms, when it passed we had the most beautiful clear skies, mist and a rainbow. It was magic. Mr & Mrs Meagher_hail 2Mr & Mrs Meagher_151Mr & Mrs Meagher_379 Mr & Mrs Meagher_335fff

Mr & Mrs Meagher_103Getting our photos taken was one of my favourite parts of the day, it was just the two of us and a great chance to take a moment together and relax and reflect. “OMG we are married”, OMG your beautiful”, “OMG it just hailed on our wedding day”, “OMG I’m so hungry and would love a cocktail”. Mr & Mrs Meagher_390 Mr & Mrs Meagher_373 Mr & Mrs Meagher_333 Mr & Mrs Meagher_365

We decided to have a cocktail hour when we got back from taking photos and served Mojito’s and ginger beer margaritas. They were a hit and lasted for a lot longer than the hour. Mr & Mrs Meagher_hail 2c

For the reception we had a marquee and finger food. We both knew from the start that we wanted finger food. We used an amazing local caterer, Catering by Sharon, and where impressed by the service and quality of the food.  Mr & Mrs Meagher_1

For dessert we ate the wedding cake. The cake was made by my talented friend Krystal from koko deli, and was one layer of chocolate and two layers of carrot cake and decorated with succulents from my grandmas garden. To hold our cards and gifts I stacked three vintage suitcases on top of each other, one was my mums, and the other two from my grandparents who passed away years ago. Mr & Mrs Meagher_2     Mr & Mrs Meagher_117

We were lucky enough to have our wedding coincide with our friends visiting from Spain. They kindly offered to help out with some food and entertainment. So while we were off getting photos people dined on Spanish tortilla and some cuerva and listened to Antonio played guitar. Our first dance was to one of my favourite Spanish flamenco songs.Mr & Mrs Meagher_121

All photos are by 365 creative imaging

We couldn’t have done it without the help of our amazing friends and family it really took a village to bring it all together. But it was worth it and it was the best day ever.

Check out our ceremony photos here.



Our wedding Ceremony

Mr & Mrs Meagher_22We got married on our farm last September. We had only been there for 9 months when our wedding day came round. We were tossing up between a beach wedding or a farm wedding. In the end we decided on a beach engagement photo shoot and having the ceremony and reception on our farm. Our wedding theme ended up being colourful country rustic, with a side of wild weather…

Mr & Mrs Meagher_ 1Mr & Mrs Meagher_2aWe hired a marquee for our reception and a caterer to do finger food. We are very grateful to live on a farm with 360 degree amazing views of rolling green hills, and it was ours so we knew it would be the perfect place to have our wedding day. We used hay bales for seating and covered them in lace curtains. I also cut out a million coloured hearts and stuck then to bamboo skewers to line the aisle.

Mr & Mrs Meagher_3 copy Mr & Mrs Meagher_4 Mr & Mrs Meagher_4a Mr & Mrs Meagher_5We spent the night before the wedding together, madly getting stuff ready, then I left and got ready at my mum and dads house and Chris stayed at the farm. The whole idea of our wedding was to keep it as small, intimate and casual as we could. So we only invited 48 people and didn’t have a bridal party. I wore a white dress but to add a bit of colour I wore bright shoes. I ordered a range of flowers for my bouquet and my mum and friend made it for me while I was getting ready.

Mr & Mrs Meagher_9 Mr & Mrs Meagher_18 Mr & Mrs Meagher_19During the ceremeony it was like everyone just melted away and it was just us saying everything to each other that we feel but don’t often say. It was magic!!

Mr & Mrs Meagher_20 Mr & Mrs Meagher_21

All photos are by 365 creative imaging

So fun to share a tiny piece of our special day with you all, more wedding photos coming soon from our portraits and the reception.

{Field guide Friday} Red head cottonbush weed

This is a new series on my blog this year where I will be sharing a sketch from my nature journal every Friday in an effort to keep myself drawing (at least weekly) and to hopefully inspire someone else while I’m at it. Hope you enjoy it!

Watercolor sketch by Shantele IannaEvery morning when I walk the dogs I pull out some weeds on the farm, particularly the white and red cotton. Our farm was pretty run down when we bought it and still needs a lot of work. We have cleared a lot of the Lantana but there are still so many weeds to remove. It may sound crazy but pulling out a few weeds each day has really added up and I can look back now on my walking track and see the improvement.

watercolour flowersketch by shantele iannaThis week I decided to keep a plant that I pulled out and add it to my “field guide to the farm” sketchbook. Red head cotton bush is a widespread weed throughout our region. It is easily identifiable from its red and orange flowers and paired leaves. It is a problem in rundown areas where it outcompetes with native species and can be toxic to cattle if consumed.

Sketching birds

birds at Evans Head by Shantele IannaI want to start sketching in the small towns around where I live more these days. So when I was in Evans Head the other day with some free time I thought I would do some urban sketching. Evans Head is a small coastal community in Northern New South Wales that is surrounding by national parks and beautiful beaches.Kookaburra at Evans Head by Shantele Ianna

As I was wandering around looking for something to draw I kept noticing birds rather than buildings. There was a Kookaburra on a post, not trying to fly away, and as always lots of Ibis and pelicans. So I grabbed out my journal and started sketching. I only had a few tools of a graphite pencil, waterproof pen, and three watercolour pencils. I am not usually good at quick sketches but with a live animal you are forced to be. I quickly added some outlines of the kookaburra and also took a quick photo with my phone just in case it flew away so I would have a reference for later.  I then added a little bit of colour and detail with the watercolour pencils.

{Field guide Friday} Monolepta Beetle

This is a new series on my blog this year where I will be sharing a sketch from my nature journal every Friday in an effort to keep myself drawing (at least weekly) and to hopefully inspire someone else while I’m at it. beetle sketch by Shantele Ianna

This week is all about the Monolepta Beetles, also known as the red shouldered beetle. I grew up seeing these beetles every summer and recognising them by there distinctive colouring. But this is the first year where I was personally affected by them. In one night (new years eve) when we weren’t home, they annihilated my garden. They ate the leaves of all our vegetables, and left nothing of our plum tree. It was pretty devastating after having the garden eaten by the cows when we were on out honeymoon. There only saving grace is that they are native beetles and that they only come out once a year.