Printable Groovy Fruity | DESIGN IS YAY!

Great news, I’m on YouTube!

From now on, I’ll be making videos to accompany my printables. Probably not all of them as a start, but we’ll get there. For the first YouTube printable video, I’ve chosen this simple but very cute Groovy Fruity printable that you can use for many many things: party decoration (stick them on straws as shown in photographs), planner decoration, scrapbooking and many more.

Printable Groovy Fruity | DESIGN IS YAY!

Shooting a video is fun. It’s the editing that gives me a headache. I have a lot of things to learn about shooting a video. Having a YouTube channel has been on my to-do list for months, other than starting Yoga (check) and Project Life (my kit has arrived… so check!). Exciting things are coming for this blog.

Oh, and just in case you haven’t heard, this year Design is Yay is among the top 3 Home & Wellbeing blog for Kidspot Voices of 2015! YAY! I am very excited about it, and keep an eye on my posts on their website very soon.

Download Here | DESIGN IS YAY!

So here’s my first ever YouTube video. I hope you enjoy it, and don’t forget to subscribe!

 

Getting Back to Work After A Vacation | My Freelance Life series post by Design is Yay

In the month of April and May I pretty much took the time off work and blogging. I scheduled a lot of posts in March for the months when I’ll be away. It was hard work, but I will do anything to have a relaxing vacation.

Early April, my parents came to visit me in Canberra. Whenever my parents come to visit or I go to visit them, I definitely won’t be able to do any work. We will spend the time to catch up, gossip (yes, my parents and I are gossips. But we only tell each other :) ), taking my dad to home improvement shops, taking my mum to see the countrysides, and many other things.

Since we booked our Europe flights very close to the date when they fly back to Indonesia, I decided to fly back with them as well. After 10 days in Jakarta, we fly to Europe where we spent 21 amazing days, fly back to Indonesia, I stayed for 5 days, and on the 31st of May, I finally fly back home to Australia.

Just so you know, the word exhausted won’t even begin to describe how I felt when I arrived in Canberra. I was really, really sick. I have never had that kind of cough before, the cough lasted for about a month, my chest and back hurts, and I even had a ‘going deaf’ period because of all the phlegm and the flights. I was so paranoid I decided to get an X-ray screening after seeing a “Check in with your Lungs” ad on TV.

But Europe, you are worth it.

I planned to start blogging again in June, but since I’m the Khaleesi of  procrastinators, I decided to sleep, be a couch potato and catch up on Game of Thrones instead. As much as I wanted to, I wouldn’t let myself stay that way forever. I want to feel passionate and awesome again! Working make me feel that way. So I started with buying a new sketch book (it’s an old habit of mine. Fresh stationery, fresh start), start doodling, taking photos on instagram… and before I know it, here I am now, full of ideas that I cannot wait to share with you.

When you’re working from home, getting back to work after a vacation could be hard to start. Here are 5 tips that you can do to lift your spirit up from that comfy couch, sit in front of your desk, and start creating and making again.

Give yourself time to rest, but set an expiry date.
You can set a reminder on your phone or in your planner. But no snoozing! 

While you’re resting, read inspiring magazines (or books, if that’s more your thing).
My favourite inspirational reads are 
Extracurricular & Uppercase magazine. 

Create simple projects
Start with simple projects that you can do in bed or your comfy couch. Make sure that it’s something that you enjoy doing. I’ve always enjoyed doodling cute animals, so I did that. There are a lot of other things that you can do from the comfort of your own bed. Crocheting, sewing, quilting, origami, planning, scrapbooking and so many more! That way, you’re actually 
doing something even though you don’t feel like doing anything. Know what I mean? 

Grab your planner and start planningwith pretty stationery, of course! 

Dream about your success rewards. I love going on vacations, so the only way for me to get motivated, is to remind myself that the sooner I start doing something and earning money, the sooner I’ll be able to go on another holiday. YAY!

Have you caught yourself in a similar situation like mine? How did you motivate yourself to get back to work? Share your tips with me in the comment section.

A snippet of this post first appeared on Design is Yay BFF membership newsletter in July. If you would like to receive handy tips like these along with some awesome freebies every month, don’t forget to subscribe!

If you like this post you should also check out this post :
My Freelance Life : Working From Home

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My Freelance Life is a post series on Design is Yay offering tips and guides about working from home and being your own boss. 

BFF Freebies: JULY 2015 Wallpaper Calendar Planner | DESIGN IS YAY!

The July 2015 freebies are hitting your inboxes right about now! If you have previously signed up to it, you’ll get it soon. And you will be able to decorate your planner and your gadgets with these groovy trees I’ve illustrated for you.

If you are not a BFF Freebie member yet, you can still sign up now and you will get a confirmation email with download links to all the freebies for this month and previous ones as well.

View our previous free gadget wallpaper downloads.

Just like the previous freebies, you will be able to download these styles and sizes: desktop (with or without calendar), retina desktop (with or without calendar), iPhone (without calendar), iPhone 6 & 6+ (without calendar), iPad (without calendar), and also printable planner monthly organiser for A5, Personal and Pocket filofaxes (Large, Medium & Small for Kikki K planners). 

BFF Freebies: JULY 2015 Wallpaper Calendar Planner | DESIGN IS YAY!

BFF Freebies: JULY 2015 Wallpaper Calendar Planner | DESIGN IS YAY!BFF Freebies: JULY 2015 Wallpaper Calendar Planner | DESIGN IS YAY!

What is Design is Yay BFFs?

Introducing BEST FREEBIE FRIENDS. This is my way to thank all the lovely and loyal readers who have been supporting and reading this blog, as well as new readers who just discovered and love Design is Yay. Without all of you, Design is Yay will not come this far.

All you need to do (and this is open to everyone, including you) is to join our BFF club here and you will receive a welcome message with a link to download our “Live Creatively” print & wallpapers as well as current and previous months’ freebies. You will then receive monthly freebies for your desktop, gadgets and planners just like what you’ve seen in this post before the end of each month. I will also throw in a few freebie surprises every now and then, so you will get a lot more freebies from Design is Yay if you join the BFF club!

Our newsletter is powered by MadMimi.

January 2015 BFF Sign up Freebies - Wallpaper calendar for desktop, iphone & ipad and filofax planner | DESIGN IS YAY!

JOIN THE BFF CLUB HERE

Blog Design 101: Anatomy of a Blog Layout | DESIGN IS  YAY!

So you’ve decided to start a blog. Congratulations! You are in for an exciting journey.

As a design blogger, the topic that I’m most passionate about is the design aspect of a blog. Putting all the branding and visual graphics aside, your blog layout could be the deciding moment whether readers would stay and return, or leave for good. First of all, your blog layout has to be suitable for your demographic. Do you have a lot of images on your blog? Sometimes magazine style layout would be more suitable for your demographic.

However, you can’t go wrong with the classic scroll-down blog layout. This was how blogs looked like when it began, and it is still the most popular layout these days. I’m going to share with you my tips on the anatomy of a blog layout that works, and how you could make use of each part to attract readers and make them stay and browse for more.

1. The Header is the face of your blog. The moment a reader logs into your blog, that’s the first thing they’re going to see. So spend your time designing the header, and make sure that it tells readers what your blog is all about and the category or style of your blog.A lot of themes purchased online come with header design and built-in text that you change with the name of your blog. Even though it’s fine to use the built-in header, one day you might find a blog with exactly the same header as yours, and it’s gonna feel like wearing the same dress as another woman in a party. That ain’t fun.

If there is one thing you should invest for your blog when you’re only starting out, it is the header. Graphic designers don’t usually charge a fortune for blog headers, because blog headers are technically not a logo. On Etsy, you could find custom blog header design for as low as $30. Depending on the design quality that you’re going for, a header that’s totally customised, unique, and awesome (it should be awesome!), I’d say you should spend around $100.

2. The menu bar below the header should explain the topics that you write most about. In my opinion, that is where your main post categories need to be. The key of a successful blog is to find your niche, so there is no need to write about a million topics. You should find 3-5 topics that you are most passionate about, then you can always add sub-categories under each main ones.

I personally won’t put things like About me, Contact Us, FAQ or Advertise With Us below the header, because they are not telling readers anything about the blog. Those links could be placed somewhere that can be easily found, but not so obvious that it becomes louder than your topics. Keep your below-the-header menu neat and simple. In the image above, I’ve recommend that you put those informational links on the very top of the blog, or if you have double sidebars like mine, you could also put them on one of the sidebars.

3. The body of your blog is your post section. Your images should be as wide as the width of the text area. Having small images on your blog is so yesterday. Your theme usually comes with instruction that tells you the width of your post area, and you should keep that in mind when editing your images. If your image happen to be smaller than what it should be, be creative! You could create a collage or frames for the image by using Photoshop (which is, by the way, a must-have software for your blog). But never expand the width of an existing image.

At the end of every posts, links for comments and social media sharing should be easily found by readers. You may also have LinkWithin thumbnails to show related posts that might interest your readers.

4. The sidebar is the sideshow for your blog. It is not the main attraction, but it is just as important. Especially when you’ve decided to put banner ads to advertise brands or shops, you need to make your sidebar look good. Some of the things that I recommend to be put on the sidebar are social media follow links, banner for your own shop or e-book that you’re trying to sell, popular posts and of course banner ads if you’ve decided to have them. Make sure that they are attractive, but not distracting. Any banners that you put on your sidebar should compliment your overall design aesthetics. Of course it is not the case for Google Adsense banners, because you can’t always control how the banners are designed. But at least you can decide on what kind of ads can or cannot be displayed on your blog.

Popular post snippets need to be on the sidebar. As your readers are reading your main posts, they eyes could be diverted to the attractive images and titles on the sidebar. When they’ve finished reading your main post, they could scroll back up and click on those links. It is important for your blog layout to accommodate browsing and clicking to other pages within your site, otherwise readers would leave after reading that one post of yours, and that’s a shame.

5. The Footer is where you could place credits, copyright and disclaimer (or a link to your disclaimer page). It is also good spot for repeating some of the informational links menu and social media icons. After checking out your posts, your readers might be wondering more about you or wanting to say hello. They might not notice the menu up above (or had forgotten about it, because some of us have the memory of Dory in Finding Nemo), so they should be able to find them again on the footer.

Additional things that can work magic for your blog:

  • If you post a lot of printables like I do, you would want to display your printable images in a gallery layout. You could have a separate page for this, of you could also have a slideshow above your main post area to show more printables that you have. I know what you’re thinking, why haven’t I do that myself, right? I am working with a developer to re-design my blog, so it’s on the works ;)
  • Have a mailing list sign up form that pops up when someone logs into your blog. It doesn’t have to be annoying. With Ninja Popups, you could set how often it should appear. Say, someone who logs on to your blog every other day doesn’t have to see it again  in another 3 months, if you set the cookie time to 90 days.
  • No matter what you do with your layout, keep it simple and neat. Keep colours to the minimum because you’d want your photos to pop. You cannot go wrong with white background. Don’t post anything that moves, like gifs or those heart or snow shower animation thingy (I’ve seen them, I swear, I wasn’t high and making things up). If you post videos, make sure that it doesn’t play automatically. NO ONE should get that kind of surprises. And I personally do not like finding memes on blogs. If I want to see memes, I’d go to 9gag.

I hope that this post gives you a further understanding about blog layout that works. For the second part of Blog Design 101 series, I am going to write about DIY Blog design – for people who doesn’t know anything about programming (I can promise you that, because I know nothing about programming). If there are things that you’d like to know more about blog designing or blogging in general, pop your questions in the comments. I might reply you by writing a post about it.

If you’re still unconvinced about starting a blog after reading this post, then you could start from here: 5 Reasons Why Creatives Should Blog.

 

BFF Freebies: JUNE 2015 Wallpaper Calendar Planner | DESIGN IS YAY!

Wait, what? We have gone through half of 2015 already? How time flies!

I’m back from Europe feeling all refreshed and inspired. Speaking of feeling refreshed, since it’s Summer in the other side of the world, I thought these happy ice creams would cheer you guys up! Even though I’m so reluctant to go back to my freezing home in Canberra, but the holiday has to end and I need to go back to work and save up for yet another holiday!

If you have signed up to our BFF Club, you should receive your June 2015 freebies.

Just like the previous freebies, you will be able to download these sizes: desktop (with or without calendar), retina desktop (with or without calendar), iPhone (without calendar), iPhone 6 & 6+ (without calendar), iPad (without calendar), and also printable planner monthly organiser for A5, Personal and Pocket filofaxes (Large, Medium & Small for Kikki K planners). 

BFF Freebies: JUNE 2015 Wallpaper Calendar Planner | DESIGN IS YAY! BFF Freebies: JUNE 2015 Wallpaper Calendar Planner | DESIGN IS YAY!

What is Design is Yay BFFs?

Introducing BEST FREEBIE FRIENDS. This is my way to thank all the lovely and loyal readers who have been supporting and reading this blog, as well as new readers who just discovered and love Design is Yay. Without all of you, Design is Yay will not come this far.

All you need to do (and this is open to everyone, including you) is to join our BFF club here and you will receive a welcome message with a link to download our “Live Creatively” print & wallpapers as well as current and previous months’ freebies. You will then receive monthly freebies for your desktop, gadgets and planners just like what you’ve seen in this post before the end of each month. I will also throw in a few freebie surprises every now and then, so you will get a lot more freebies from Design is Yay if you join the BFF club!

Our newsletter is powered by MadMimi.

January 2015 BFF Sign up Freebies - Wallpaper calendar for desktop, iphone & ipad and filofax planner | DESIGN IS YAY!

JOIN THE BFF CLUB HERE

 

Today’s free Desktop Wallpapers were created by Juliette Dudley, a friend of mine who is a Canberra-based illustrator and graphic designer. I did an interview with Juliette a while ago. Check out the interview with Juliette Dudley to find out more about this amazing illustrator.

Check out Juliette’s blog, Good Design Club,  to find out more about other designers and art & design events in Canberra.

Juliette Dudley Desktop Wallpaper | DESIGN IS YAY!

Download 2000 x 1200

Juliette Dudley Desktop Wallpaper | DESIGN IS YAY!

Download 2000 x 1200

Juliette Dudley Desktop Wallpaper | DESIGN IS YAY!

Download 2000 x 1200

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