Illustrations by Nancy C. Sampson

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This year I was inspired to create handmade cards for friends and family instead of having one of my designs printed. This meant that I was not able to send them to a long list of recipients as in years past but in the end I think I made and sent about 45 cards.

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To keep the cards affordable, simple, and colorful I started with large sheets of plain, brown craft paper, then ripped up and glued down shreds of colored tissue paper that I had on hand.

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After the glue dried I cut the craft paper into 5″ strips and cut those strips into 8.5″ lengths to form individual cards. After that, it was time to draw and personalize …

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I began with a handful of images and themes sketched out on a piece of paper but sometimes allowed the shapes and colors on each card speak to me. I liked making each card a little different. Even if I reused an image/idea, I tried something new with the drawing.

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It was important to me to send out something personal and special since I have received so much love and support from my friends and family through my career change and relocation process, which is far from over. I wish I’d had the time to make more of them so I’ll have to try it again for another occasion!

Supplies used to create these cards: Craft paper, tissue paper, glue stick, scissors, ruler, Uniball pens, imagination, love.

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Urban Christmas

Some of you out there may already know that I have relocated from beloved, boisterous Brooklyn, New York to the cheery and charming Charlotte-area of North Carolina. I am excited to have made the move and will likely be moving again once regular employment presents itself in the Raleigh-Durham area.

For now I wanted to let everyone know that The Nancydraws Shop is open for business and that I am fully stocked with artwork, cards, and more for the holiday season! I have plenty of Foodietoos, the perfectly unexpected stocking-stuffer for the foodies in your life, and even Foodietoo aprons. Percival Featherington III holiday cards have always been a popular item, and those are available as well. If you haven’t browsed through my Etsy Shop in while, please stop by and take a look.

Because of my move took place in the late-fall, I was unable to consider exhibiting at any craft shows or pop-up shops. In the spirit of promoting my new community of fellow-creators, here are a few crafty shopping events in the Tar Heel State:

Saturday, November 19, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
NC State University’s Craft Center Holiday Craft Fair
Raleigh, NC

Saturday – Sunday, December 2 – 3, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. (Saturday) & 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. (Sunday)
NoDa All Arts Holiday Market
Charlotte, NC

Saturday, December 3, 12 p.m.-4 p.m.
Raleigh Makers Market
Raleigh, NC

Sunday, December 11, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Durham Patchwork Market
Durham, NC

 

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Would you like to create a central location to charge your devices instead of having to search around your home to find where you or your family members might have plugged in a phone, tablet, etc.? I created an easy DIY charging station that I’d like to share with you, in a post that I wrote for the EtsyNY Team blog. Click here to read the full post!

 

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As a member of the Etsy New York Team, a group of local Etsy sellers, I contributed a post to the team blog about my pasta-making experience in Rome while I was on vacation in April. My parents and I planned the trip together and learning the secrets of creating fresh pasta was on the top of our list for our time in Italy. We had heard about Bonappetour.com as a way to find and reserve in-home cooking and dining experiences abroad and we booked an evening with Francesca through the site.

The evening was a fun and delicious way to get to know a local Roman as well as learn more about Italy’s most-beloved specialty: freshly made pasta. My post on the EtsyNY blog went up on Monday, you may read it here. 

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I haven’t been active on the craft market scene and I have no new art projects to work on for the shop, so I have been spending my time using social media to promote The Nancydraws Shop. There is always something new to learn in this ever-changing field, so I thought I’d share some of the resources I have been using. Please share your own resources in the comments, I’m hungry for more!

Etsy Shop Updates

Etsy launched its “Shop Updates” section in the Etsy Sellers’ iOS app at the end of 2015. As a shop owner you can upload a photo related to your shop or products and tag it with a listing from your shop, add a caption, and even share it via text, email, or your favorite social media platform as long as it is Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Here’s one that I posted this week:

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Launch, Grow, Joy’s Instagram Webinar

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Maker-marketing blogger Andreea Ayers and Melissa Camilleri, of Compliment, presented a webinar, “How to Take Advantage of Instagram’s New Algorithm” on April 6 and the replay is only available for a couple of days, better go watch it now!

“How To Take Advantage of Instagram’s New Algorithm” Webinar Replay
http://app.webinarjam.net/replay/17998/c3e8282a5a/0/0

As of this writing, the new algorithm was not in play, but I think the main point of the webinar was to improve your Instagram presence now so that you go into the “new era” well-connected to your followers. Melissa offered numerous great tips about improving engagement with your fans and customers, branding, and building lasting relationships with your buyers or clients.  I just started a second Instagram account exclusively for my artwork and Etsy shop @thenancydrawsshop and I’m excited to test out some of Melissa’s tips there.

Melissa is also offering a 21-Day Instagram optimization class that starts on April 18.

 

Hootsuite’s Podium

Hootsuite, mostly known for its social media dashboard, offers a  collection of learning videos that are a great resource to better understand the planning and strategy behind a strong social media campaign.

I am used to having a goal and general plan in mind as I roll out my own campaigns, but it is helpful to know how the pros handle it for their clients. There are also videos to introduce you to the basics of social media marketing if you are new to this mode of communicating with customers.

At the end of each section, there is a brief quiz to solidify what you’ve learned and downloadable worksheets so you can begin optimizing your social media outlets and drafting campaigns with your new marketing skills! The musical intros get old after a while, but I like how the concepts are presented in nice, bite-sized chunks that are easy to learn and remember.

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If you like to cook with a sense of humor, then check out my Foodietoo temporary tattoo designs applied to kitchen aprons. I am testing out this new product idea since the images in their original form were such a hit with my customers.

Now there are three Foodietoos-themed aprons available in The Nancydraws Shop:
Quel Fromage
Lucky Kale
Honeycrisp Apple Cult

My friends Beth and Philip allowed me to use their gorgeous kitchen as a location to take photos for use with the Etsy listings. Beth and I enjoyed figuring out the best angles, framing, and arranging the different foods for me to pose with. She happened to have cheese, kale, and apples at home, so we switched out the food whenever I changed aprons!

The photos below are some fun out-takes from that day.

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I have been invited by Red Flower to their store in the NoLita neighborhood of Manhattan, to create greeting card art in the store. The boutique, which sells their own lightly fragranced body and home products derived from locally-sourced organic flowers and plants, likes to organize events with NYC-based creative types and businesses. Gimme Coffee will also be there offering free samples!

That day, I will work on hand-drawn cards on-location and have already-created cards, journals, art, and more for sale. I would love it if you’re able to stop by to enjoy the experience with me! I have been a fan of Red Flower’s products for a while, so it’s a real treat to be invited for this event. I’m a little nervous since I have never tried anything like this before, but I’m excited to share some the ideas that the invitation has inspired.

Event hours and location:

Sunday, September 6; 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Red Flower
13 Prince Street (near the corner of Elizabeth Street)
New York, NY 10012

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In this post, I’m sharing some fun activities and restaurants near Brooklyn Collective, a shop with a supercool variety of wares made by independent artists. I am lucky enough to have my artwork for sale there from July until the end of September. If you’re going to visit, then stick around the ‘hood and explore. Cobble Hill is a neighborhood with waterfront access, community gardens, elegant brownstones, destination eateries, old store fronts, tree-lined streets, modern architecture, and loads of charm.

My hand-drawn map will show you the way to spend a whole day exploring…. Take the ferry to Governor’s island in the afternoon, stop at the store on your return trip, then have dinner in the evening. Have lunch or brunch, learn a craft or an instrument, and pick up a birthday gift at the shop … there are so many more great businesses and restaurants that I couldn’t show all of them!

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Brooklyn Collective is located at 212 Columbia St., between Union and Sackett Sts. Their hours are: Thursday-Saturday, 12-7; Sundays 12-6. A tip for getting over to the store from the Carroll Street subway station is to stay on Union or Sackett, they are the closest streets that cross over the highway.

1. Carroll Park and Playground // Bordered by Smith, Carroll, President, and Court Streets
The park occupies an entire block and includes a playground, sprinklers, basketball and bocce courts, a baseball diamond, picnic tables, and public restrooms.

2. Ferry to Governor’s Island and Pier 6 // Western end of Flatbush Avenue
Governor’s Island has something for everyone: interactive art exhibits, bike rentals, picnic grounds, food vendors, music and dance events, historical sites, and great views of lower Manhattan, New York Harbor, and the Statue of Liberty. The Brooklyn ferry only runs on Saturdays, Sundays, Memorial Day, and Labor Day from May 23 through September 27 (2015 season).
Pier 6 hosts Smorgasburg on Sundays, offers semi-permanent outposts for other food vendors, lawns for picnicking and relaxing, volleyball courts, a dog park, playgrounds, public restrooms, and a pathway that connects to the other piers along the Brooklyn waterfront.

3. Brooklyn Farmacy // 513 Henry Street
Check out this old school soda fountain housed in a former apothecary store. The “Strawberry Fields” ice cream soda is my personal favorite.

4. Lucali // 575 Henry Street
A candle-lit pizzeria serving up excellent thin-crust brick-oven pies; BYOB. They do not take reservations, so it’s best to get onto the guest list at the door early in the evening, before 6 p.m.

5. Ferdinando’s Focacceria // 151 Union Street
At Ferdinando’s you’ll find classic Sicilian pasta dishes and delicate arancina. Closed on Sundays.

6. Mazzola Bakery // 192 Union Street
There are many Italian bakeries nearby, but Mazzola is the neighborhood favorite. There are cookies, biscotti, pastries, cakes, and a variety of breads … which makes it difficult to decide what to bring home!

7. Brooklyn General Store // 128 Union Street
If you’ve been itching to knit, crochet, sew, or craft with fiber, this is the place for you. The store offers plenty of supplies, instructional books, and classes, as well as a selection of ready-made gifts and clothing.

8. Jalopy Theater and School of Music // 315 Columbia Street
Listen to music or learn to make it at this roots-music venue. Check their website for shows which are scheduled almost every night of the week and for more information about instrument classes for kids or adults.

9. Pok Pok // 117 Columbia Street
This Michelin-starred, authentic Southeast-Asian restaurant is a popular foodie destination originating from Portland, Oregon; reservations are recommended.

10. Freebird Books and Goods // 123 Columbia Street
At Freebird’s you’ll find used books, many specializing in New York history. Check their website for notice of readings, book clubs, and workshops. Open on weekends only.

11. Alma // 187 Columbia Street
Get a table on the roof-top patio with expansive views of the Manhattan skyline and dine on Mexican fare.

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IMG_3023This year, like most summers, you’ll find me on one of the beaches close to New York City, in Prospect Park enjoying a free concert, visiting my favorite gelatto shop, hiking, or dining al fresco with friends. Where you will not find me is behind a table at any craft fair! This is not bad news, because I am lucky enough to have been offered a spot to sell my work in Tessa Williams’s enchanting gift shop, Brooklyn Collective.

My artwork, cards, and temporary tattoos will be available for in-person browsing and purchasing from July through September and there will be an opening party welcoming all of Brooklyn Collective’s summer artists on Friday, July 17, from 6-9 p.m. Please save the date and come out to celebrate with us, there will be live music and an open bar.

brooklyn-collective-logonew-2212 Columbia St., between Union and Sackett Sts.
Closest to the Carroll St. stop on the F or G trains
Hours: Thu.-Sat. 12-7; Sun. 12-6

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foodietoos8-readSince the warm temperatures are with us once again, I’d like to remind everyone that sharing your love of food with one of my Foodietoos (temporary tattoos) is fun and entertaining! They are a conversation-starter at any barbeque or picnic. Just think: You could wear the Foodietoo equivalent of an ingredient in the salad or snack that you brought to the party! Wear “Lucky Kale” and bring a Kale Caesar Salad. Curate an artisinal cheese and charcuterie board with “Quel Fromage” on your arm. Procure laughs and paninis while displaying “Gluten Forever.” Foodietoos are the perfect summer accessory.

I have also expanded the line to include greeting cards which have Foodietoos attached as gifts for the recipients. There is a “Gluten Forever” love card (inside greeting: I love you more than carbs themselves.), and two birthday cards, one features “Quel Fromage” (inside greeting: Yep, it’s another birthday. But at least there’s cheese!) and the other, “Lucky Kale” (inside greeting: Wishing you lots of love, luck, and greens this year.”).

I created my line of Foodietoos during the summer months of 2014, and in mid-August they first became available to customers. Now I have been selling them for about 9 months via the The Nancydraws Shop, and at a few craft shows I’ve attended during that time. With this project I’ve been able to show my talent of combining words and images while sharing my sense of humor at the same time. It has been so enjoyable to hear laughter and positive comments at the craft shows or after I show them to people that I have met. These reactions are just as affirming, if not more so, as when someone makes a purchase!

So, check them out in The Nancydraws Shop! The tattoos are available individually or in a set of eight: Nuts-Seeds-Snacker, Lucky Kale, Love-Death-Yogurt, Gluten Forever, Honeycrisp Apple Cult, Love Links, Quel Fromage, and Quinoa Queen.

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