Monday, June 1, 2020

Behind every small business is a family

Hi there #Creativegirls and #Paperlovers,

It's been a while since I blogged. Actually a year. I just have been swamped with a ton of things. I broke an ankle with a serious injury in November 2019 and have been trying to get back on my "feet"...literally.  Then just as I was feeling things returning to "normal", this virus happened. My goodness, and I thought 2020 would be a great year and now the world is on its head. 

Creatively, things are business as usual, but we are all in one boat and nobody can say they are not affected by the current change in the world. As a believer, on the other hand, I am still saved, God is still God, and eternity awaits. So, not affected at all. 

As a business owner, yes very much affected as are all small business owners. As we are constantly reminded to shop local and support local business, I wanted you to see the family behind our little design studio so you know whom you have been supporting.

We are two artists who design and develop our products from scratch. We always have. We never buy image packs to make our life easier. We rely on the art God gives us and the creativity that He allows us, to develop our products. We distribute our own products. Our physical products, when we offer them, are always made to order and we offer "Print&Play" digital products to ensure that our creative community is always supplied with quality art within their reach. Our printable products are affordable and excellent quality. The main focus of our art and products is encouragement as is our heart for our community of #Creativegirls and so we also offer a club you can join with regular online playdates, a special journal to be creative in together and of course all the Print&Play collections to play with. Our products are also friendly and can thus be used in activities with kids too. Secondary to this is the development of personal creativity with a focus on creative journaling. 





My name is Ansu and I am the owner and Managing Director of Ivytree Studio, a boutique design studio in the heart of Pretoria, South Africa. I have nearly 2 decades of experience in the Educational Industry and now also nearly 2 decades of experience in the Graphic Design Industry. I will always
be an Educator at heart, but I regard myself to be an Artist and Content Developer. For the past 5 years
I have focussed my efforts on building an online presence for Ivytree Studio, a boutique design studio, and developing quality products for the creative community at large. I am also HSP (High Sensitive Personality Tempremant), INFP (Mediator Diplomat) and an Ambivert (50/50 Intro/Extrovert). I love kids, cats, art, design, interior design, architecture, someday I will build my own home and write a ton of books. I love to cook, I love watching movies with my besties and I love my online community and the fact that it is growing daily. 

This is my Dad, Pieter. He is our Prayer Partner, my Managing&Business Consultant, and all-round super Dad! I love him so. He is 80 years old with a vast amount of general knowledge
and business savvy. He is also a journaler, family history expert, and memory keeper like me. He is the only full Extrovert in our little circle. 

"No respect for management"
Just joking. This is me and Surita, my partner in "crime". Wink, wink. 




We have been working together for many years on all kinds of creative projects.
We started Ivytree Studio nearly two decades ago, but in its current form, creating our own
products instead of working for design clients, we have been at it since 2016 (5 years).

Surita is our in house Illustrator and Chief Designer and she manages our parent's care, our family home, and sometimes me. Wink wink. She is just like my dad a bit of a genius. She is good at nearly everything. She is a great cook and even greater baker like my gran use to be. She also has a little cat baby called Daisy who is the granny in the home. She can build you a kitchen with basically nothing and our favorite thing to do together is snack on chocolates, Doritos and cream cheese, and watch our favorite movies. 


This is our Mom and she is the inspiration behind our design and art thumbprint.
She worked for the NBI - National Botanical Institute as a typesetter for 30 years. We literally grew
up around the publishing sector. She is also 80 years old and my parents have been married since 1965. Jip, it's possible. 55 years in total. 


This is hubby Henry, who helps out and supports us in all our endeavors. 
He is my hero and best friend. He is currently the owner of his own online teaching business.
He teaches English to Russian students. 

This is my sweet baby Klouye and she is my companion while I work. She does nothing but love on her mommy and has her dad wrapped around her little paws. He is her butler and even opens the door for her when she comes and goes. Totally spoiled rotten. 

So now that you have been introduced to our family, you know who you are supporting when you buy anything form Ivytree Studio.

At the heart of our business is also the desire to create jobs. Henry and I talk about this daily. Both of us have a heart for the poor. In particular for abandoned kids (my heart) and feeding people (both our hearts). It is our desire to uplift and help save lives, so I wanted you to know that about us. We have not been able to employ anyone to date, but it is part of our future growth plan. As we grow over time, we will definitely need to employ more people and your continued support can help us do just that...put food on the table of someone who just lost a job, or who's income dropped or who's kids are going hungry. 

If you feel as strongly about this as we do, and you want to help us achieve this dream, the way you can do so, is by supporting our online store on a regular basis, sharing our posts, and spreading the word. 

So this is our Carona plan: Keep doing what we have been doing. Encouraging the world with our art and a message of HOPE. Be consistent. Put out quality products for our target community and keep doing that. Be brave and pitch up. Keep doing that until God brings the breakthrough not just for us but for those He has called us to love and look after.  

Your challenge: If you pop over to the grocery store and you see someone leave some items they couldn't afford, pay for it and hand it to them. Change a life, give to someone the things you would have wanted someone to give to you if you were in need. Don't wait for someone to ask. Offer to help and then act. #LetsChangelivestogether #BeKindToday #SupportLocalSmallBusinessRegularly 


We would love to have you in our community.





Friday, May 31, 2019

Art journaling and Digital Stamps



Dear #Creativegirls & #Paperlovers,



Have you ever used PNG stamps in your art journaling? Here is a little process on how I used a PNG stamp from our Ivytree Studio Revive Collection. It's a digital #Print&Play collection and so versatile and fun. You can find the collection here. 

First I printed the stamp on Acetate (not the printable transparency type...plain acetate). You can resize to any size your printer can print out. The ink will stay wet for weeks. You can stamp the same image again and again until you have used all the ink. It is a simple way of transferring to paper instead of tracing by hand. 

I love layering with art products. Here you can see my process. 
I also did a video that you can watch here: 























Make your own Mini Albums

Dear #Creativegirl,

Thank you for popping in to read my blog. This post is a little catch-up of my May 2019 projects. 

I mostly develop products and manage our Design Studio, called Ivytree Studio. I am going to attempt to post at least once per month here. It will be a round-up of what I have been up to and my top favorite projects of that specific month. 

As a creative girl, you might totally be aware of the fact that we bounce around from project to project and some projects linger a bit longer and sometimes they get left behind totally. As a teacher, I always use to attempt to guide my students towards finishing what they started. Now that I am living the "FREE" life of a full-time artist, it is not so easy. Between work (our little studio) and my own personal creative projects, life can also get in between and what you intend to do and what is actually possible with the time God gives you, is totally something different. Can you relate?

So, I am still very much committed to finishing the projects that I started. At least the most important ones. In May this year, I launched a challenge in my #CreativegirlClub called "This is Me" Mini Album project. The idea was to print some photos of your life from start to date and then make a mini album with it. Well, I started. I completed a couple of layouts. What I found was making the album is ONE project, decorating the cover is another project, and then each layout can be a session each. So this project is taking much longer than I expected, but I think it is an important one, so I am sticking to it. It will be finished when it is finished and in the meantime, I am committed to put my heart into it. 

MAKING THE ALBUM:
I used the A4 sized chipboard and found that 2 sheets are enough for the cover. I watched a couple of videos by Bea Valint (she is amazingly talented and I love her style sooooooo much) Creating the album cover is basically very easy. You decide on a size, cut your pieces from the chipboard including front, back cover, and spine. Lay them down next to each other with a little bit of space in between. I would say about 3-5mm. Lay it on top of your pattern paper, trim the corners, fold over with the help of your bone folder, stick down. Cut another piece of pattern paper to cover the inside, stick that down. Remember to use the bone folder to crease the folds before you close the album. It will ensure that your paper doesn't rip. And you're done!

I think when you start out with #MemoryKeeping, you can get easily overwhelmed with all the possibilities. It takes time and effort and study to find your style. I am a novice when it comes to making albums from scratch and I am a bit stubborn. I want to figure things out for myself, so I don't attend classes. It is the way I learn.  

Kinesthetic learning (American English), kinaesthetic learning (British English), or tactile learning is a learning style in which learning takes place by the students carrying out physical activities, rather than listening to a lecture or watching demonstrations. - 

I make mistakes, try different ways and design my own end-product. I find it satisfying and sometimes you end up with something great and unique. (PS: when I attend a class, the only reason is for the socializing and perhaps the shopping). Because I am an educator, it has always been my "job" to know how things work and to be able to explain it. This fact makes you a lifelong learner and you go the extra mile to find things out. Teachers tend to be expert researchers. 








 I would say that when it comes to #Scrapbooking, I like it simple and fun. I develop our Ivytree Studio collections to make things easy, fun and creative for the end-user...that's YOU. ;). I hope that you check our products out. We have been developing #PrintandPlay products this year and it has been so much fun. Creativity just went up a notch! 

IN THE NEWS:
 Another happening I have to note here has been the article placed about us in a local Magazine. It is always wonderful when you get noticed outside of your usual network and this was just such a big deal to me. We first featured last year December in the online version of the Magazine and then we were surprised by this article in the printed version this year. It is my all-time favorite magazine and it was a great privilege to be featured. Check out the Magazine here.



THE BIG PROJECT FOR 2019:

I would say this was the biggest project I have attempted thus far. I developed with God's help a full online Retreat program with a Workbook, Creative Journal, Devotional Study and other related content. It has a Biblical foundation and is aimed at the Female Christian Artist.

I will write a full article dedicated to this project in another post to come.



This is me, Ansu. This photo was taken during the Retreat. You can perhaps see the tired eyes from
all the late nights. 

MINI JELLY BOX ALBUM:

This was such a fun project and I shared a video over on the Ivytree Studio Channel unboxing the album. Watch it here: 








Ivytree Studio's #Print&Play collections are just so much fun and so easy to use and create multiple projects with. It is for #PersonalUse only and we don't allow distribution or teachers using our products to teach with unless they purchase the physical prints from us. But, for the crafter and #Creativegirl who just wants to #PLAY, this is going to be a gamechanger for you. It definitely was for me. Here I created a journal cover with the elements from the Karalea collection.



So, until next time when I hope to update you on my June 2019 Projects! 

Leave me a comment, ask a question or come say hello over on Instagram or Facebook.



Visit Ivytree Studio to see more of what we are up to www.ivytreestudio.co.za
Buy some of our pretty products here
Connect with the team on our Facebook page here.
Share your Ivytree Studio layouts with us here
Join our #CreativeGirlPrint&PlayClub here
Watch our Youtube channel here.





Friday, April 26, 2019

Mixed Media Face

Hi there lovelies,

A little over a year ago I started following a wonderful lady called Marta over on Youtube. What I love the most about her is her lovely positive attitude and the creativity that flows from her hands constantly.

I have watched loads of her videos just because it was so much fun. She does actually encourage you to be creative with her while watching her videos, so in the end, she got me going in my art journal again. I created a little art journal spread, playing around with some ideas and incorporated what I had learned from her. I have done a couple more since then, but this was the first one. I just love the fact that you can learn so much from just one art journal spread.

Art journaling is all about experimenting. It is not about creating a masterpiece. It is not about being perfect or creating a designer entry. It is about PLAY! And that is just what I did here. I played and had so much fun. Once you reach that point of "Creative Bliss" and forget about being perfect or impressing someone, that is your moment...your "art moment".

If you haven't yet tried art journaling, why not give it a go. It is very therapeutic but also educational. You can test out ideas, products and elements like new stamps or stencils and so much more.