Welcome to Design is Yay, a creative lifestyle blog based in Australia. I hope you enjoy the freebies I have created and my finds in paper goods and designery things, travel inspirations and my work life as a freelancer
I am so lucky to have a bunch of talented friends!
My friend Helen has just opened her etsy shop, PartiArti, specialising in themed party kit in a box. For Halloween this year, PartiArti created “Scary Party” kit, which features the scary character from scary movie.
The box has a complete set of party goods, such as invitation, place cards, cupcake topper, buntings, popcorn bags, balloons as well as paper plates, cutleries and cups. Also included in the box is a party ideas guide. Basically all that you’ll need to prepare are the food and drinks (and pumpkins. Pumpkins in the photos are not included :P).
We are hearing from Amanda Thomas from NZ about her beautiful journey to Kyoto, Japan. Follow Amanda’s instagram account for snapshots about the things that she loves (cats, books, nature, coffee & her husband).
1. Tell us about your trip to Kyoto, Japan.
My husband and I went to Japan, just for a holiday. It’s always been one of the places we’ve wanted to go to most. We visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara and Osaka, but Kyoto was our favourite.
2. What do you like about Kyoto?
We loved the history and the scenery and the amazing food. We had so many amazing experiences in Kyoto including feeding monkeys, seeing real life Geisha, going on a rickshaw ride through a bamboo forest, visiting temples and eating delicious tofu based meals.
3.Tell us one best experience/moment you had there.
I loved the day when we fed the monkeys. We hiked to the top of a huge hill and once we got there we could see the whole of Kyoto. Not only was the view stunning but there were monkeys everywhere and it was just a surreal experience. Definitely hard to walk away!
4. Five places/activities/eats recommended by you.
1. Visit the monkey park called Iwatayama 2. Go for a rickshaw ride through the bamboo forest 3. Explore all the hidden streets and alleyways around the Yasaka Pagoda area – lots of amazing food and knick knacks to be found
4. Visit the Golden Pavillion and take part in a tea ceremony. We also lit prayer candles at the alter and thew coins for good luck!
5. Take a walk through the bamboo paths of Fushimi Inari Shrine
5. Where would you like to go next?
Next we’d like to have a relaxing island holiday where we snorkel, sleep, read books and enjoy sunshine and outdoors!
All images are courtesy of Amanda Thomas. Thanks Amanda for sharing your journey with us! Love travelling? I’d love to hear from you! Email me at email@example.com with a little story about the best trip you’ve had in your life.
My favourite holiday is coming up soon, and I whip up a couple of halloween freebies for you!
Download the iphone wallpapers here and here. It is best to open these links straight from your mobile browser and save image. The image can be find in your camera roll and you can set your wallpaper from there.
You can also have these spooky (but very adorable) bats as gift tags. Download the gift tags at the end of this post.
I take a lot of photos using my mobile phone camera. In fact, I have taken too many photos that I need to spring clean my camera roll every week or two. Even though I do appreciate the fine details I could capture with my SLR or point-and-shoot cameras, taking photos using my mobile phone is more practical. I don’t even need to upload them onto my computer; I’ll just use my favourite editing apps to make them look more attractive. I’m starting to run out of memory space to keep all of my photos, that’s when I decided to start printing them. I also realised that I might be able to do something creative with the prints.
If you have been following my blog and instagram, you will notice that I’m a sucker for colourful things. That is why the Epson Stylus Photo R2000 is such a good fit for me because they focus on features that optimise colour printing.
The printer consumes 8 individual ink cartridges of different colours, including Gloss optimizer, Photo black and Matte black to ensure rich deep blacks on matte and glossy paper. Epson’s LUT technology converts CMYK or RGB colour information to create the appropriate ink blends for the particular image or graphics. I am so pleased when I saw how vibrant and clear the colours of my photos are, even colour gradations are very smooth. I also found that unlike most ink jet printers, this printer has minimal grains, which is great for printing illustrations with solid colours.
With Epson UltraChrome Hi-Gloss 2 pigment ink, the prints are also water, smudge and fade-resistant, which is great, because I would love to own these prints for many years to come. I can totally imagine myself showing these photographs to my kids while saying “I took these photos using a smartphone… it’s a cool thing back in time.”
The Epson Stylus Photo R2000 is definitely not a regular ink jet printer. It is a semi–professional printer fit for creative professionals such as myself who is required to create mock-ups and do colour testing for clients.
Luckily, Stylus Photo R2000 accommodates medias up to A3+ size and as thick as 300 GSM (I honestly have not tried anything thicker than that, but according to the Epson website, you can even print 1.3 mm thick boards. Sweet!). The printer is also Wi-Fi enabled, which makes it easier for me to print wherever I am in the house, without any cables needed. Despite all the fancy features that they have, the printer still provides an option for High Speed printing, which is useful when I’m in a rush.
D.I.Y Photo Gift Box
I have also created a printable Photo Gift Box that you can print and assemble to contain your freshly printed photographs (download link is at the end of this post).
The printable photo gift box I have created can fit approximately 40 pieces of 9×9 cm photographs (height can be adjusted -/+ 2 cm). You may use the printable Photo Gift Box to keep your own photos. But since sharing is caring, you can give them away as gifts.
1. There are a couple of ways you can print your photographs:
- If you’re lucky enough to still have your high-resolution photos stored in your camera roll, you can transfer them to your desktop and print right away.
- If you’re like me who doesn’t keep your High-res photos for too long in your phone memory space, you can use Instaport to import your Instagram photos into your desktop, resize them and print. Their resolution is high enough for 9×9 cm photos that’s going to fit in the photo box. You can resize and arrange the photos on A4 size 300 dpi file using Photoshop. If you don’t have photoshop, you can download a free trial version that you can use for 30 days here.
Juliette Dudley is an illustrator & graphic designer based in Canberra. She is known for her fantastic watercolour illustrations. I met Juliette when she was a co-editor at Us Folk magazine. At the moment, Juliette is pursuing her career in graphic design, and contributing to Canberra’s art & design scene by creating Good Design Club, a website that promotes local artists and designers. Find out more about her in our interview below.
Hi Juliette, Tell us more about you and what you’re doing.
I’m a graphic designer and illustrator based in Canberra, Australia. I completed an Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design at Canberra Institute of Technology in 2008 and then a Bachelor of Graphic Design from University of Canberra in 2013. I’ve been working as a professional graphic designer for five years now, in a range of different workplaces including a printer, real estate agency and The Canberra Times. I currently work as an in-house designer for Engineers Australia, and work on freelance projects after work and on weekends. I’ve also been interested in art ever since I can remember, so drawing and painting are a big part of my personal work and illustration.
How do you find a balance between working full time in the office and doing your own projects?
I find it fairly easy to motivate myself to work on freelance projects after work because I enjoy it so much. The hard part is making time for other things in life – going out, eating well, exercising. I’ve recently started treating my freelance projects more like I would treat my projects at the office, so now I’m a bit more organised with my process. I also use an online booking software which has project management features and time tracking, so this helps me to manage my freelance work just like I would in my day job.
Where do you go or what do you do to get inspiration flowing?
Design blogs and magazines are a great source of inspiration. Some of my favourites are Design Is Yay (of course), The Design Files, Desktop, The Design Kids, Habitus, Juxtapoz and Inky Goodness. When I can make the time for it I also love to get outside – I just love fresh air, sunshine and nature, things which you don’t get to see much of when you sit at a desk most of the day. Another thing I don’t do enough of is go to art exhibitions. I find they can be a really relaxing experience, and a great way to go back to thinking about core design principles. I also run a design blog in what remains of my spare time, called Good Design Club. I really enjoy interviewing fellow designers because it helps to remind me that we all go through the same kind of struggles from time to time – it’s inspirational to read about other people’s successes. I also love to travel when I can – going to Japan for two weeks in October. I know it’s kind of predictable but I’m really into Japanese and Korean culture at the moment.
What has been the best experience of your career so far, and why?
I can’t really think of one thing, but working at The Canberra Times was pretty cool. The people I worked with were really nice and I learnt a hell of a lot.
In my spare time, I…..
… draw, watch anime and sci-fi shows, eat sushi and Korean BBQ.
On September 6th, I opened a stall at The Makers’ Day by Canberra Creatives (who will soon reveal their new name. Stay tune!). The Makers’ Day is a fun day out for crafters and makers alike, or anyone who would like to get their craft on. I was a stall holder so I didn’t get to see all the workshops, but these are the ones that caught my attention:
Watercolour Workshop by Juliette Dudley (an interview with Juliette is coming soon on this blog)