Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Women's Day 2017 - New season, New Collections and new Creative Team news

Dear Paper Lovers,

It is wonderful to see how God brings about the change in seasons. The Clivia's in my mom's garden is already blooming and it looks like Spring is about to burst open. Even though I still wear my fleece pajamas and socks and early mornings are chilly, the weather in Pretoria has been absolutely perfect!


...and so this year is more than half way over and already we are at WOMEN'S DAY! Can you believe it? Well, I hope that this day is filled with laughter and rest and blessing and maybe a little "being creative".

This morning God woke me really early..before 7AM. Yes, that is early for me. As a teacher I use to wake up at 6:00 to be in time for school's tart at 7:15. That meant that I had to dress and get everything done in a rush and face the traffic while driving to work. As a night-owl I am at my best and most creative late at night and was use to going to bed well after 22:30. So for years I was also accustomed to very little sleep. Not so good. So since leaving mainstream teaching behind, I am able to go to bed when I am ready and done with my day...I try to stick to 24:00 at the very latest and then start my day a little later in the mornings, so this morning was the exception to my new status quo. 7AM. I felt God calling me to my studio and this little girl made her way to my handmade notebook that I shared on Instagram and Facebook earlier this week.

The verse I illustrated was Psalm 55:22 and is a favourite of mine. It is also Joyce Meyer's husband, Dave's go to verse in every situation.

So as this is Women's Day and I know that most of you, like me, are heavy laden with loads of burdens and challenges and chores, let this be a reminder that when we cast our cares and burdens on to Jesus, that because He cares for us, He will take it on to Him and give us new strength. When you feel like you want to give in under life's pressures, take heart and know: "He will never let the righteous fall".


There is so much going on in our little studio and I wish I could give you all the detail, but mmmnn, no, you will just have to once again wait and see in the coming months, what we have been up to lately. Exciting stuff!! :)


One of the areas we have learned a lot in the past year, was our 2017 Design Team.  We have these lovely and very creative ladies on our team this year that has helped us gain experience in running our own Creative Design Team. They formed an important part of the "how to" of it, the "what to do and what not to do" and then we had to merge all of that experience with what our vision for Ivytree Studio is.  One thing I can assure you of is running a Creative team is more a full time job than anything else..if you really want to do it well and make sure everyone reaps the rewards.

After six months we realized the following: 
1. That it was taking up way more of our time than we intended and as we only have two sets of hands (and a willing third pair from time to time..."hubby in the background"), we needed to re-assess the process. You have to be realistic, right.
2. We were falling behind on what we really wanted to accomplish with the team, because we were getting sidetracked. Yes, that happens to us all, right, even though you may be very determined NOT to get side tracked at the start. You plan to go one way, then someone makes a great suggestion and you humor it, then someone else suggests something else and you turn that way and again and again until you can't see the wood for the trees. Not to mention all your own ideas that can really make your head explode. :) :) I just saw a picture of the melon explode into mush...vivid imagination, right? Did you see it explode too?

At some point you just have to stop, re-evaluate your direction and gain some higher perspective. My "higher perspective" is God. He just doesn't give me peace about things He does not want for me. My signal to know if I am on the right track with something or not is weather I have inner peace about what I am doing.  At 43 I know that pit-of-your-stomach-feeling all too well. When I was younger, I would ignore it and continue on something until it was really hurting me. With age and experience, I have learned to listen to that Voice that says: "Go this way instead of that way" or "Come back, this is the best place for you!"

OK, so back to the Design team. All in all it was a very educational experience, but most of all I personally really enjoyed the team and there enthusiasm for our paper. I will always be thankful for their input and the passion all three of them expressed using our paper.

These three ladies are our very special team members. You know girls, you will always be known as the very FIRST three Creative Team members of Ivytree Studio. I hope that warms your hearts. It is something I will treasure for sure.

As this post is already getting to be a "short story" instead of a blog post, I will be posting the current DT's final projects in another post or two to come. So, come back to read about it. You can also visit there blogs and see what they  have been up to lately. You can still click on their blogs in the sidebar.

So what is changing:
1. We will no longer have a full-time Creative Design Team with set members who auditioned once and were on the team for a full one year term.
2. We needed some time to think about what we DO want and also how we want to reach the world with our paper. So, instead of limiting the opportunity to just three ladies, we are changing the way we manage the Creative Team. But we also need to manage it in such a way that the workload and time constraints for us is way way we can spend more time designing those pretty products you like.


Will we still have a Design Team? YES

What will it be known as from now on?  Ivytree Studio Creative Team

What will the members be known as? Guest Designers

How will it work?
1. We will launch a challenge with every new collection, on Facebook and on our blog here.
2. Who can participate? Layout artists across SA & anyone with a pretty talent for papercrafting and a love of our paper, can join in EVERY challenge.

3. How to enter a project for the challenge? (You need to be at least a "little tech-savvy" to get this going ;) )

  • Join our Ivytree Studio Facebook group and this blog.
  • Then purchase some of our paper here and make something with it according to the rules & theme of the next challenge. 
  • Take two quality pictures: a close-up of your favourite section and a full view layout picture. 
  • Create a basic blog post on your own blog showcasing your experience. 

(Blog post should consist of: 1. the two photos you took, 2. a little something on your process or experience with the paper and 3. a basic list of items used. Anything more is up to you - Yes, you will need to have your own blog of course).

4. Finally, submit your entry:

Step 1: 

  • Share your two images (without any watermarks) 
  • and a link to your blog post 
  • via email: with us 
Step 2:
  • Post your entry to our Facebook group Challenge album by the due date. 

(No blog post pre-approval is needed for these auditions and we won't proof read or suggest any edits unless it violates the no-fairy policy in which case we will just delete the submission from the Facebook album.)

The only rules we have is that you adhere to our "No fairy"-Policy (a short list of themes and topics we do not support or wish Ivytree Studio to be associated with like Halloween for instance). We will publish the list to our website soon). 

Why no watermarks?
When you enter your photos for the challenge, don't put any watermarks. We will create a special GD watermark and add it when we share your work.

  • This way, you don't have the hassle of creating or placing watermarks, if that's is not your thing. 
  • Secondly, if you wanted to enter your work in another challenge or share in another group, you can do it with or without your own watermark. 
If you wanted to share your work with our watermark on it, 

you can just copy it from Facebook where we will be sharing it or just re-post it from our page. 

  • Finally, most of you like to enter your layouts for challenges to Scrap Affairs, our local magazine and they require you not to use a watermark of any sort. So keep this in mind. 

What is on offer for the Challenge winners?

  • Out of every challenge we will choose the absolute best designer and she will then receive the very next collection absolutely FREE before everyone else does. 
  • She will then be showcased on our Guest Designer wall for 2017 for the remainder of the year;
  • receive a badge for her blog 
  • and we will also share one blog post showcasing her work here for every challenge won. 

Why should you join our Facebook Group and enter the challenges?

Our Facebook Group is a private group. You have to be an approved member, but once you are, we will be sharing freebies and digital downloads with all those who enter the challenges. Those who don't enter, won't receive any of the goodies we designate for these challenges and it won't be available free anywhere else. We might also feel that some of the entries deserve a mention on our public pages, but we will always ask your permission before we share anything officially.

Other opportunities for a GD member:

We might from time to time want to ask members of the Guest Creative team to create something for us and we will send that person the goodies they need to be creative with.

Once you are on the CT wall as a Guest Designer, you are also absolutely welcome to create more projects and share it with us on Facebook. We will re-share and post it, but not necessarily blog about it or watermark it, unless it blows our mind. Blogging is a lot of work. A quick share takes less time.


The Creative team will grow over time and you might find your face on that wall soon. This means that we don't direct what you create or how or what you write or blog about. We just INSPIRE you to create and be creative and give you opportunities to do so!  The major thing to focus on here is also to just have fun and enjoy what you love to do: Creating beautiful things with paper! Writing your story well is also the reward.

We can't wait to meet new Ivytree Studio friends who are as passionate as we are about paper!

Because anyone is able to re-enter any new challenge, weather you are on the CT wall or not, we will make sure that once you have won a free pack, you cannot win it twice in a row. 
We will test this and update the disclaimer with more info in a couple of months if needed. 

Just to get you very very excited, here is a sneak peak of our TWO new collections coming soon... (There are so many things I want to share about these two collections and I am so excited I can't sit still!!!!) There will be a challenge for each of these collections and we will share marketing on the new CT ("Creative Team") once we have launched it in our store and on Facebook. 


We still have some stock available of the New Revamped Hadeda Garden Collection and I loaded a promotional item in store at a discounted price to celebrate women's day.  Still love this collection with some of my favourite colours and patterns. Love my dots and stripes. 

So, get over to the store and get yours, while stocks last. 

Click here to purchase your pack today.


Join us in our next post to read about: 
The DT's final projects, Grace Lilly Workshops and Products 

Visit Ivytree Studio to see more of what we are up to:
Buy some of our pretty paper here
Connect with the team on our Facebook page here.
Share your Ivytree Studio layouts with us here