31 December 2012

Bye Bye 2012!

A time to look forward

So here I am, goal achieved and now what!?! Just because I love making pretty things that might just let your day sparkle a bit more, I would love to see it turn into a success. Since opening I have been trying to juggle my time between social media, SEO and making new things. Let me tell you one little thing: the day is just not long enough to do it as quickly as I want to.

I feel it's crucial to add more items to my shop. I've got quite a few greeting cards and a few art prints in my shop already but love to have more. At the moment I'm working on art prints that can be personalized but what would you like to see? I would love to hear from you! So let me know what you're missing in the Heedopter shop. I might just go and make it...


30 December 2012

A time for reflection

I just love the last couple of weeks of December! Lots of little lights, nice food, cheery people and lots and lots of days off (always a good thing). I have been taking it easy in the last week which left me plenty of time to reflect on the past months and year. I'd set myself one goal for 2012 and that was to open my Etsy shop. And yes, I made it! With even a month to spare ;-)

It started in the beginning of the year. Around april or so with a screenprinting Etsy Lab at Pini Piru's workshop. I loved it and I loved the people. Just the fact that I didn't even have to pay for it or own an Etsy shop to be part of the Etsy Lab. That's real love of and determination about moving the Handmade movement forward. Basically it planted a seed and that seed started to grow when I was discovering more and more about Etsy. I knew for a long while that I really wanted to start designing again. Years ago I used to do all sorts in the creative field. I've been to fashion college and after that interior design. I used to work as an interior stylist for the dutch equivalent of the BBC tv show 'Changing rooms' and the US 'Trading Spaces' ('In Holland staat een huis') and worked for a few years as a video editor. But I gave it all up to travel the world. During one of them travels I met my boyfriend and moved to the UK. Being in the UK it was hard to find work let alone work that I actually liked. So I ended up in IT and even though I'm back in the Netherlands (yes, still with my english boyfriend and an extra lovely little addition, our son ;-) I still work in IT.

Photo taken from EtsyNL's facebook album

That's been ok for all those years but in the last year I finally reached that point that it wasn't enough anymore and when I was introduced into Etsy I knew that's what I had to do! And so I did. I started designing, I went to the Hello Etsy event and was inspired by so many nice people. Even though Etsy is an online community, meeting them in real life really show how passionate these people are about handmade things and how keen they are to help each other out. It felt like a warm bath!

A few weeks later my own Etsy shop opened! That's exactly 1 month ago today!

16 December 2012

Have some fun! Homemade christmas crackers

Working really hard to open up my Etsy shop I've kind of neglected my loved ones a little bit. They have been so supportive of me and they gave me every opportunity to work on my designs that, now Heedopter is officially online, it's time to give back.

And guess what!?! It's Christmas time and this should be about spending time with your loved ones. This year for some reason we have managed to have the presents all ready and wrapped up a week and a half before Christmas. Don't ask me how we've done it because normally I'm really running late on these things and am suffering of proper holiday stress. But no, it's all relaxed this year. Which means there'splenty of time to decorate and actually make some homemade Christmas crackers!

We're living in The Netherlands and Christmas crackers aren't part of the holiday tradition. Yes, I do see them popping up here and there  but they're still hard to come by. My boyfriend is from the UK and crackers are a huge part of Christmas dinner. No dinner is complete without these! For all of you who don't know what Christmas crackers are: it's basically a paper toffee shape and it has a little present inside, a paper crown and a naff joke. You're suppose to pull them, each holding one end, and when you do, it bangs! The one holding the long end gets to keep what's inside. Lovely tradition! Everyone sitting around the table having Christmas dinner with a paper crown on their head! (Can you picture it?)

Anyway, this year we decided to make some crackers of our own since we will be having Christmas dinner over at my mum's. We made them once before and are still far from professional but it's so much fun to do! We bought everyone a little present and made some crowns... we didn't bother with the naff jokes.

Big round of applause for my boyfriend! He did most of the work, I just handed him bits of tape and tied ribbons around.

All you need is some tissue paper, toilet rolls, ribbon and washi or cello tape and to top it off: some bangers (we bought ours last year in the UK). I used my own gift tags which I posted earlier on for you to download for free. Missed them? Try again here.

08 December 2012

Friendly sneak attack!

Wow, what's going on? Views of my Etsy shop were going through the roof, lots of favourites on my items and on top of that the orders were flying in! And all of that in just one weekend!

Guess what, I got sneak attacked! This great team of Etsy sellers called the Handmade Movement picked out my shop to sneak attack. Basically it means that they're boosting new and undiscovered Etsy shops with views, favourites, treasuries and sales. What a great way to support new shops!

It's daunting... putting your work out there that you worked really hard at... only to find out that it takes time for people to find you and buy your work. You hope that once your shop is online, the orders are flying in. Well, that dream goes quickly out the window. I'm not sure why but it is quite common that it could take months before your first sale. I was lucky to make my first sale in the first week of opening but still would've loved to sell more...

And this is where the Handmade Movement came to the rescue! Just by picking the Heedopter shop for their friendly sneak attack, they boosted traffic on my shop, sales and my mood!

So, dear people from the Handmade Movement team: a big, big, big THANK YOU! It's been such a buzz!

You can find out more about them right here: http://www.handmademovement.blogspot.nl/

07 December 2012

Free printable Christmas gift tags

When opening my Etsy shop I so would've loved to have a collection of Christmas cards. Unfortunately I was running out of time and couldn't do it all. I chose to start my shop with cards for all occassions. I promise I will have lots of choice for Christmas cards next year.

In the meanwhile I could't resists doing just a little something for Christmas. So here it is! A free printable set of christmas gift tags for all your special gifts.

Click here to download the pdf file. 

December is here!

Waking up yesterday to a wonderful white world of snow! Having a real early start I was the first one to leave tracks in the snow. What a great kickoff to the festive month of December! So, time to decorate the house! There's so many lovely decorations and DIY's out there that it's hard to choose. I like to mix natural materials and colours with some crazy colour explosions here and there. Today just a little selection of wonderful and cute christmas decorations I came across.


30 November 2012

Yes! We're open!

This is it! This is where it starts... My Etsy shop named Heedopter has finally opened its digital doors TODAY! Yay!

All designs, illustrations, cards and prints are personally designed by me. Come and have look and make sure to check back often because I will be listing more over the upcoming period. You can find Heedopter on: www.etsy.com/shop/heedopter

For all of you reading my blog and following me on Twitter, I've got a special openings discount for you: 15% off your first purchase! Just make sure you use the code DINGDONG2012. It's valid till the end of 2012 so don't wait too long...

And... I love to hear what you think so let me know!

heedopter etsy shop

28 November 2012

Tricky winterlight

Wow, it's trickier than I thought: trying to make gorgeous pictures. I'm a big lover of natural light, even in winter. It's lovely and filtered but... not so great for taking pictures. I've got lots of light in my studio coming from several directions. Would be enough, you think. But no, even though I'm setting my own white balance and fiddling around with ISO and shutterspeed, they still come up dull.

So long life photoshop! Here's the result... good enough?

27 November 2012

Picture day

The days are just not long enough... I'm busy with all sorts and mainly with getting my Etsy shop opened! Today is photographing day! I'll be locking myself in my workroom taking photos of all my items. Still working towards opening my shop this week and it's still possible.

In the meanwhile, here's another sneakpeek....

16 November 2012

In preparation... creative packaging

Ok, so while I'm waiting for my artwork to arrive back from the printshop, there's lots more to do...

One of them things is packaging material. When sending cards and prints through the post I do need to make sure they arrive in tip top order. And above all, it needs to look nice! When researching which materials to use I'm paying extra attention to sustainability. I like it to be as green as possible and recycle where I can. I just like to do my own little bit to make the world just a tiny bit better.

Lots to consider though... since I'm just starting my Etsy shop I haven't got loads of money to spend (and the green stuff is somehow more expensive!). Better resort to creative thinking. I've had a big stack of old books in my bookcase for a while, ready to be taken to the charity shop. Never got round to actually take them so why not use them!?!

So here it is. Lovely, recycled bookpage sleeves for sending my greetingcards in!

14 November 2012


Here's just another teaser for you...

In working on my illustrations I get inspired by so many things but in general I tend to find my inspiration close to home. In this case just how cosy, love-filled and fun my own home is! I'd wish the actual house I live in looks just as cute as this one... it doesn't... but I can always dream, can't I?

12 November 2012

This is it!

This is where it starts... this is where I share my designs with you all! I learned a big lesson at Hello Etsy a few weeks ago. As Janine VanGool from Uppercase magazine shared with all of us: your work is not done until you've shared it with the world. So this is where Heedopter officially starts.

I've worked hard in the past few weeks to finish all my designs for my greeting cards and art prints. They've been sent off to the printshop and now I'm eagerly waiting for them to be finished and delivered to my door... and then... My Etsy shop will open its digital doors! I am so excited!!!

So here's a little sneakpeek... I will be posting more of them over the upcoming days/weeks, just to keep you all just as excited as I am!