Friday, June 28, 2013


//// Went with our niece + nephew to see Monster's University LOVED IT //// Miss Lola became our newest employee //// ALL 100 Brickyard Buffalo prints shipped out //// #tbt with my little sis //// Kate Spade's Packaging is everything I dream of being when I grow up {I scored this adorable summer bag for a great deal! - there is a coupon on their homepage too}

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Dear Etsy,
Etsy has got to be the most customer and seller friendly website! They are constantly updating, changing and improving the Etsy experience.

They just launched a new design for the items pages, and are working on some other awesome things that will be available soon. Are you an Etsy seller who wants to be one of the first to try out some of the new improvements?

Here is how!
> On the main page of Etsy, on the bottom left side there is a box called more ways to shop
> Click Prototypes

> There you will find the list of open Prototypes. Just click [Join Prototype] to start participating
> The Prototype will automatically be available for use {although they don't always guarantee it will work as it is still in testing}
> Joining a Prototype also joins you to the team discussion board. There you can ask questions, talk about what you like and don't like and help improve the new feature

I am participating in 10 Prototypes right now. I think my new favorite is the improved convo feature where you can save responses to your most commonly asked questions for a faster convo response time.
Designs by Nicolina
<div align="center"><a href="http://" title="Designs by Nicolina"><img src="" alt="Designs by Nicolina" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I mentioned yesterday about needing to be BRAVE with my business. After stress filled weeks and a particularly overwhelming couple of days Cam and I decided that the best thing for DBN {and for us} is to take a hard look at the shop and make some changes.

So much has changed for us since I first started in 2010, I expanded into printing, I quit my day job, and now I am here, 3 years later and I have to really decide what I want this to be.

In the beginning it was all about filling my shop and making sales, and it has become increasingly apparent that I need to decide who I want to be as a designer and a shop owner. I need to find my true style, stick with it and trust that the right customers will still love me!

So here is the news.
I am breaking up into TWO shops:
Designs by Nicolina Paperie & DBNGraphics

Designs by Nicolina Paperie will continue to offer art prints, a smaller more curated selection of printed invites as well as stationary. Limiting my products will allow me more time for custom projects, and designing new things!

DBNGraphics [THE NEW SHOP] will offer ALL instant downloads. Party packs and elements to print and DIY. Instantly downloaded invites will be editable so you don't have to wait on me to fill them! PLUS this shop can stay open and active while I am on vacation, so no more having to worry about that!

I think this is the best thing to turn Designs by Nicolina into the best brand it can be. It will give me more time to spend with my family, and doing the things I love. I want to continue loving this business everyday and I don't want it to be a burden!

So here's to new things, and turning this into something that will last for a long time! Sorry for any inconvience the closure might cause.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Have you heard this song?
It is kind of my new anthem. I even designed a print for our studio to inspire me.

It can be applied to so many aspects of your life. But right now I am trying to use it to inspire my business. After a rough week and a particularly stressful couple of days Cam and I had a heart to heart talk about DBN and where it is headed. More and more he is having to take off work to help me keep up. I am having to turn down people who want rush, or custom orders and I haven't gotten to design many new things this year.

It is so hard to have a head full of ideas and no time at all to work from your inspiration.

Something has to change. I have to be BRAVE and take a hard look at something I am so close to. It can be hard to be critical of your own business, but it is so important to grow.

In the next week or so {don't worry we will give some warning} we are going to close to get caught up on some projects we are working on, revamp the store and have a grand reopening. It is time for me to focus on what I do best, my style and what is going to make me have more time for all the things that I love to do!

So look out,  for a whole new Designs by Nicolina, and I guess I just have to be Brave enough to trust that if I do what I love, others will love it to!

What do you have to be Brave about?

Monday, June 24, 2013


This is pretty much how I feel today

we are still puppy-sitting from my parent's dog, she loves to sleep and this morning she did not want to get up at all {let's face it neither did I}

It took all day Friday and a couple hours yesterday but we got all of the Brickyard Buffalo art prints shipped out this morning! Thanks again to all those who placed an order! I would love to see pictures of how you use them in your house!

I am going to start featuring an different Etsy seller every month, so if you have an Etsy shop {or another handmade business let's chat about getting you featured! {designsbynicolina{at}gmail{dot}com}

All in all we are ready to face the week head on! {and ready to get in some pool time} what are you up to this week?

Friday, June 21, 2013


It's InstaFriday again! What a week this has been! We booked our third anniversary trip, started puppy-sitting from my parents {who went to Cancun without us TFTI guys!} had a deal on Brickyard Buffalo and a full week of work! Whew TGIF!

Here is a peek into my life this week, want to follow along? Find me on Instagram @nicolinaw PS. What do you think of this new Instagram video thing? I haven't tried it yet but I am exited too!

//// Sent off some beautiful custom invites to my girl Jess at Party Pants, you really should check her out she is the best! //// My instagram was full of pictures of Miss Lola, she is a sleepy puppy it's pretty much all she wants to do /// The Brickyard Buffalo deal was a huge success and I am spending my Friday working on printing all of those orders! //// This salad is our new go-to quick lunch! Buffalo Chicken Salad {makes 2 servings: 3 chicken tenders {our grocery store has them in the deli, could use any leftover chicken} tossed in Frank's Red Hot, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, all tossed in light blue cheese dressing - SO GOOD!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Today I would like to take the time to thank my amazing customers who ordered from the Brickyard Buffalo deal! I was so happy to give you guys a great deal on some of my most popular prints, I hope to get them all in the mail and on their way to you on Monday! {check my instagram for updates @nicolinaw}

I would also like to give a huge thank you to all of my customers who send me photos of their invites, parties, and art prints in use! It really and truly makes my day!

I recently got an order from 83 SWEETS they are an awesome bakery who have been featured in the Knot magazine, Food Network & they won CUPCAKE WARS! Pretty cool right? Check out how the art print we designed to match their bakery turned out!

She added a purple mat to tie it all together, I especially love how perfect the green mixer matched the green whisk in the art print!


So please keep the customer pictures coming! #designsbynicolina or email them to me at designsbynicolina{at}gmail{dot}com!

And feel free to particiapate in 'Thank You Thursday' post a comment with your blog post if you do, and grab a button!

Designs by Nicolina
<div align="center"><a href="http://" title="Designs by Nicolina"><img src="" alt="Designs by Nicolina" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


If you follow me on instagram you know what a process getting our office set up has been. We have been to Ikea and back I can't tell you how many times, but I think we may have FINALLY got it right.

Here is a tour of our shipping station...

I loved mixing and matching frames to make up a gallery wall. Clipboards are about $2 at Target and make great frames that are easily interchangeable {they might bug you if you are a perfectionist as they will never hang perfectly straight... like ever}

////THE DETAILS ////

Large Glass Table {Glass Drafting Tabletop & Legs, Ikea, not available online}
Shipping Organization {Besta TV Unit + Fancier Legs, Ikea}
White File Box {Kvissle Letter Tray, Ikea}
Clipboards {Target}
Black Frames {Hobby Lobby}
Funky Frame with White Mat {Degeron Frame, Ikea}
All Art Prints {Designs by Nicolina}
Tassel Garland {The Flair Exchange}
Wire Paper File {TJ Maxx}

What's your favorite part? I have to tell you, I am in love with how this looks and it makes us so happy to look at it while we are working. Our little office is FINALLY coming together!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Here is your tip for the day... RUN over to the best, most unique daily deal site around BRICKYARD BUFFALO and scoop up one of my chalkboard art prints.

Only a limited quantity is available for a limited time, and I don't plan on doing these often! They are discounted to $8.99 from $15.50, even the shipping is less so you really don't want to miss it!

There are a couple available options as far as lyrics go on the site, just check out the pictures and choose at checkout, or you can get them all that's totally what I would do.

Monday, June 17, 2013


My little sister graduated last month! And this weekend it was time to party! {Hence the lack of blog posts Thursday and Friday} I was elbow deep in nautical party prep!

She loves anchors and anything nautical so check out the invites I designed for her.

The main colors we used in the party were aqua and coral with touches of navy! We had the party at a local neighborhood clubhouse that overlooked a pool so it gave it a very nautical vibe.


We dressed up the mantel with netting, starfishes and a vintage style life preserver. We added the lantern for guests to put cards for her inside of. Then I designed an art print that showed off the anchor and 'class of 2013' on the invite, I made it standout by attaching it to some dark stained boards and added it to the mantle.

Here is a close up of the banner and sign

I made the sign using my Silhouette Machine {my new best friend} it helped me cut out all of the letters, anchors, and graduation hats with precision!

At the last min our good friend who always makes cakes for us couldn't come to the party. Sam's cupackes {they are so yummy and only $13.98 for a box of 30} + cute cupcake toppers made from my Silhouette Machine saved the day!

 Check out the seahorses and grabs with their graduation hats!

And to top it all off on the welcome table I did a sign with the hashtag info for guests to share their pics on instagram! {PS. there is another adorable crab, they totally stole the show}


Cassidy had tons of fun eating sweedish fish {her favorite}, and other nautical themed food items {think gummie octopus, goldfish + other beach-y food} We dances all night and had a blast!

Love you Cassie!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Just add chips, salsa + some margaritas to make this the perfect bachelorette night! Inspired by my 'Let's Fiesta' invite {HERE} and some other fabulous Etsy sellers!

INVITE by Designs by Nicolina {Here}

Aren't you just dying over the mason jar margarita gasses! Now I want mexican food!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


When you run an Etsy shop the expectation is that you are waiting my your computer 24/7 waiting for someone to contact you. While this at the beginning may be true. At some point the hobby turns into a business, and it should be treated as such!

I try to keep business hours to keep me sane, I am not always but try to be done by 5. With Cams work schedule I work longer hours when he is at the firestation so we can spend extra time together on our days off. Throw in drs appts, picking up supplies, and doing regular household errands it it important for me to be able to work on the go.

I have my iPhone with me at all times, the Etsy app helps me stay connected to my shop and be able to answer convos, and check orders while I am out.

I have mentioned the blogGo app before! I am using it again while we are out running errands to work on this post! 

I use the new Mailbox app for email now and I LOVE IT! It works much better with attachments than the regular mail app so I can see what invite someone is referring to if they have a question.

There are of course some things that I just have to be at home to do! But it is awesome to be able to keep up with business on the go as well! 

What do you do to keep up on the go?

Monday, June 10, 2013


Katy McKinley is my new blog best friend, super creative and sweet, plus she loves chevron almost as much as I do!

She is the lady behind 'Handmade Escapade' a line of super cute things from t-shirts to hair bows to drink koozies!

The newest addition to her shop is the FIFTY NIFTY a line of state love tshirts, you pick your state and your shirt color and she hand-makes it for you! They are so creative and cute. Each state has a unique phrase/lyric/quote to match that incorporates the state silhouette.

Check out my pick /// Georgia /// with a quote from the Ray Charles classic 'Georgia on my Mind' in navy so I can rock it at the Braves games!

Shirts run true to size and are great quality! Her work is amazing and very professional! {PS. she also has adorable packaging!}

And now... a coupon for you so we can be twinsies {or get your own state} Louisiana + New York are 2 of my favorites!

Come on! You know you want one! ^and that coupon will help!

You can find her here too! BLOG /// FACEBOOK /// PINTEREST

Friday, June 7, 2013


It is Friday which means tomorrow is the weekend, it also means it's...

 If you are wondering why I didn't blog for the past couple of days this is why...

I think every house has a closet that collects things, in this case it is the closet inside my office. Part books, part unpacked boxes from our move {2 years ago} part junk/stuff that doesn't have a home 100% mess! We needed the storage for paper ect. in the office and it was time it got cleaned out. 4 hours, 2 large black trash bags, 2 goodwill bags and a bag to take to my local consignment shop later and I am finally done! 

Our needs for the office keep changing but hopefully we finally have a plan that will help us be as efficient as possible! {Ikea trip Monday!}

Here are some other things that happened over the last week...

I had to get all of these orders out last week before I could have some much needed pool time with my girls! {see pic below} Could my sister's hat be any bigger?

I got some happy mail from my girl Katy at Handmade Escapade, so excited to share more about her awesome brand and how cute these shirts are {PS. I also will have a coupon to share}
My #tbt from yesterday. Oh the things you find while cleaning. My toy drill that sparks when you push the button. Memories! 

Want to follow the fun? Follow me on instagram @nicolinaw