Right-click and download if you're with me.
Right-click and download if you're with me.
Is it just me or has Easter egg decorating reached a whole new level the past few years? I mean, it's hardly practical...I'd never hand-paint two dozen eggs to hide in a hunt, buuuut I'm loving the creative possibilities! Here are my six current faves (in no particular order):
DIY Whimsy Illustrated Eggshell Centerpieces | Little Inspiration
DIY Marbled Indigo Eggs | Alice & Lois
DIY Deer Easter Egg | Lauren Conrad
Natural Dye (Ombré) Easter Eggs | Alice & Lois
DIY Ice Cream Cone Easter Eggs | Kara's Party Ideas
Hamburger Easter Eggs | Food & Wine
For more SPRING inspiration, check out our Pinterest board here! Happy Easter from our family to yours!
Mhmmmmm! Happy #internationalwomensday! Feel free to share with credit. :)
Here's a little freebie if you want to use it on your social media feed! I'll try to post more of these in the coming months as I make them for my own accounts. Free for personal use only. Credit is optional (see photographer's name below). Finished size: 1500px x 1500px. Happy Monday!
When Hurricane Harvey hit this past fall, Houston came together in a remarkable way. As soon as the water receded, neighbors began cooking food for first responders, organizing donations at churches, and tearing down drywall in the homes of strangers to mitigate flood damage. I, however, remained holed up at home with an infant. As I scrolled through Facebook, I searched for a way to help. Eventually, I came across a thread on Tuesdays Together in which fellow creatives expressed concern about booking clients in the coming months: "Now that so many people have lost everything, will they have any disposable income left to spend on us?" "How will this affect local business?" "What can we do?"
I promised that I would give back by offering a discount to the small business community when I returned from maternity leave. Well, friends, guess what...I've decided to take it one step further and give away a FULL BRANDING PACKAGE to an inspiring creative. I have never, EVER done this before and I really hope it works out.
First, let me be clear that this giveaway will not be awarded to just anyone. It will not be a random drawing, and applicants will have to meet certain criteria. (In that sense, I guess it's more of a contest than a giveaway.) Our goal is to find someone who is not only a great fit for Akula Kreative, but also someone whose work will inspire the community.
Basic Branding Promo valued at $1000:
Full Branding Package valued at $2500:
Branding Promo: Limit 1 per quarter. Open to everyone.
$250 deposit required. Balance due at project completion.
Full Branding: Limit 1. Open to Houston area residents only.
$500 deposit required to go towards print work. *
* WAIT. Why are you requiring a $500 deposit for a giveaway?! I designed this project so you can walk away with not only a beautiful brand, but stunning, show-stopping business cards as well. (Think: luxe letterpress, painted edges, the whole nine yards.) If you're tight on cash, then printing a business card that will do your work justice can be tough. Soooo, now you can put all of that hard-earned money towards printing the card of your dreams!!! Plus, requiring a deposit tells me you're SERIOUS about this process and you have some skin in the game. If you reeeally want to apply but only have, let's say, a $300 print budget, we encourage you to apply anyway and leave a note about budget concerns in the comments section. :)
Want to learn more about our Branding Packages? Click here.
You'd think that after six months of being MIA on this blog, my first post back would be jam-packed with design goodness. The good news is, it IS...the bad news is, it's not exactly about graphic design. More like, errr, nursery design. (If you don't have kiddos, I can hear you gagging and I can see your eyes rolling. I don't blame you.) However, some people have asked to see our nursery, so I figured I'd share it as our last post of 2017 because, well, having a kid was our greatest accomplishment this year. My second greatest accomplishment was getting work done and wrapping up projects on schedule. Yay me.
Onto the nursery...
Andrew and I have a special place in our hearts for Hawaii. Neither of us is Hawaiian—though I do have some island blood in me—but we both grew up going to the Big Island every summer as kids. When I suggested the islands as a theme for Em's room, he jumped on board immediately.
The details, of course, are my favorite.
Andrew made this needle-felted Totoro for me. It's the best. All of the small pieces of art are by Hawaiian artists, collected over time from Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island.
This succulent is a descendent from my wedding bouquet. The growth chart ruler was made by my lovely friend Lauren of White Loft.
Andrew saw that I pinned this pillow cover on Pinterest and he bought it for me as a surprise. The llama rocker from Pottery Barn Kids was a surprise gift as well (from my mom). If you don't know, I love dogs, goats, llamas, and pretty much all animals.
These stacked books weren't working with my colorway so I covered them in fine art paper from Paper Source. :) The mirror is from Anthropologie and the "aloha" was written by yours truly and cut by Kolorize (another one of my favorite shops).
These mini macrame plant hangers were made with love by my friend at KetMercantile. The books on the right are actually mine from childhood.
Last but not least are these custom-made wall hooks. I originally wanted these cuties, but they're no longer being made. Soooo, I created some vectors of the Hawaiian islands and sent them to Jamie at Kolorize. She made this beautiful set out of walnut and I'm a little obsessed with them. (Believe it or not, I made a giant stencil to place on the wall so I could place them accurately. As I've said before, I have OCD.)
So there you have it! As I reflect on this year, I think about all of the awesome connections I've made online. Social media is both a curse and a blessing; it stresses me out to post regularly but it has also allowed me to forge friendships with many talented, warm-hearted people I never would have met otherwise. Our nursery is a great reminder of that.
Happy New Year! I hope 2018 is filled with joy, growth, and new, meaningful connections!
- xo -
Just checking in real quick to let you know that our little peanut has arrived! Thank you for your well wishes and support! We will be back in the office as soon as we are coherent again. :)
P.S. I actually went into early labor the evening of writing the last post...isn't that crazy?!
It's finally here! I've been meaning to share our vendor list for YEARS, but this line on my To Do List kept getting bumped as new projects landed in my inbox. Thankfully, maternity leave has afforded me just enough time to make it happen.
So...what is this Little Black Book?
The Little Black Book is a small collection of some of my favorite creatives and craftspeople in the design industry.
Ok...why are you sharing this?
Many designers—myself included, when I was starting out—like to keep their production partners under wraps. You see, I used to think of my go-to letterpress print shop as a secret weapon; their work made MY work look amazing, and I wanted that leg up on the competition. However, I've learned that the best thing you can do for your beloved vendors is SHARE them. After all, the last thing you want is your trusty printer to go out of business!
Furthermore, since Akula Kreative is not currently accepting work, I needed a set list of trusted business referrals to pass on to current (and potential) clients. I hate responding to inquiries with, "Sorry, can't help! Good luck!" so I've assembled a group of graphic designers, web designers, calligraphers, printers, CPAs, brand photographers, and more...just for you!
I do plan on adding more vendors in the future, but this initial group is VERY talented and I encourage you to reach out to them if you need quality work done this summer. If you can wait until late fall, by all means, please send me an email...otherwise, I know you're in good hands.
THANK YOU for supporting my small business + best of luck to yours!
- xo -
Dear friends and clients,
We are very excited to announce that we'll be welcoming a new assistant in August! Sure, we have no idea if he/she will be artistically-inclined AND we fully understand he/she will probably be more work than help, but we know that Nani's sibling-to-be will be the perfect fit. :)
Now that it's official (i.e., my pregnancy is more than halfway over), we thought we'd share the news since it will have a direct impact on the future of Akula Kreative. Don't worry! We're not going anywhere. We WILL, however, be closed starting in July to prepare for and tend to our new li'l bundle. The re-opening date is TBD but hopefully it will be sooner rather than later. If you're really itching to get your company branded or print some beautiful paper, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Response times may vary, but if I'm coherent and/or close to being ready to work again, I'll let you know.)
Until then...we are accepting only 1-2 more projects until our temporary closure. Technically, we are fully booked but I've left a bit of wiggle room for last-minute inquiries (depending on the scope of work). ;) Please give us a holler if you can't wait until late fall!
Over the next few months, I will be working on some educational content to help clients (and even new designers) better understand the branding process and design in general. The plan is roll out posts during my maternity leave so anyone who wants to start a project immediately after my return will be equipped to do so. Please follow us on Bloglovin' (see sign-up box to the right >>>) if you don't want to miss out!
Note :: If you're a current client with on-going design needs, we have published a collection of our favorite vendors here.
THANK YOU for your patience and continued support as we navigate these unknown waters! We can't wait to introduce you to our future Employee of the Month.
- xo -
Nikki, Andrew, Nani, and Baby Mihalik
Our Color Palette Photo Contest is back! Submit a photo (or digital scan of original art), and if we choose it for a color palette this spring, we'll give you FREE DESIGN. We can make you a custom graphic, social media template, Pantone-based color palette, hand-lettered phrase...you name it! Each winning photo that is used in a Friday Color Palette will be credited to you with text, a hyperlink, and social media tag (if applicable).
What kind of photos are we looking for? Anything pretty with nice light, interesting textures, and a limited palette of gorgeous colors! Flowers, animals, food, landscapes... If you're a photographer, we're confident you can find beauty in anything. :)
Every photo submitted, whether we choose it or not, will count as 1 entry for the giveaway of a Branding Workbook (which is about to sell out again!).
Small photos or photos with watermarks will not be considered.
We’ll choose up to 20 photos and contact the winner(s) via email. "Guest Photographer" Color Palettes will be published on the blog (and Facebook) this spring or summer. If you win, please allow up to 3 weeks to receive your design freebie after we know what you want. We will make no more than 2 attempts to contact you via email. Free design expires June 15, 2017.
Oh! And don't worry...we're not asking for ownership or copyright. We just want permission to use your beautiful photos for color inspiration.
Thank you and good luck!!!
* CONTEST IS CLOSED. * However, we're happy to accept submission(s) at any time via email: email@example.com. Please include your name, business name, and website. If submitting more than 1 photo, please attach a zipped folder of your files. We'll contact you within 2 weeks if one of your photos is chosen and discuss our trade from there! Thank you!
Branding Workbook photograph by Kimberly Chau