Moodboard: Rose Gold

I’m so excited to show y’all this moodboard I designed inspired by Brian Gavin Diamonds’s new Rose Gold Collection. The collection is so romantic and soft I wanted the moodboard to express the same feelings. I am adoring this color combo so much, I feel like I need to throw a party using it! Hmmm, wedding colors?

Rose Gold Inspired Moodboard

Diamond / Sequins / Glitter / Champagne / Make It Count / Girl In Hat

Introducing the Italian Rose Gold Collection from Brian Gavin Diamonds. Each unique piece of jewelry is crafted from 14k Italian Rose Gold with white gold, diamond cut beads. Available in earrings, necklaces and bracelets – this affordable collection provides ultra romantic accessories for the fall.

With five generations of diamond expertise, artistry and integrity, Brian Gavin Diamonds sells exquisite loose diamonds and hand-crafted, customized diamond engagement rings and jewelry. Since 1999, thousands of satisfied local, national and global clients have enjoyed Brian Gavin Diamonds’ personalized diamond experience — both online and off. Follow Brian Gavin Diamonds on Twitter, Pinterest and don’t miss them on Instagram, they have some really awesome videos! Thanks to Brian Gavin Diamonds for sponsoring this post!

Upcycled + Restyled Home Office Bookshelf

Upcycled-Home-Office-Bookshelf-6

Who has a to-do list a mile long of home projects and updates? I know I do! My dad is a bit of a dumpster diver so there’s never a shortage of furniture in our family, while abundant, it’s not always pretty. A while back he gave me a bookshelf that’s been really useful, but an eyesore in my office, see below. I just shoved a bunch of stuff on it and that was that. I’ve been meaning to give it an upgrade but just couldn’t get around to it.

Upcycled-Home-Office-Bookshelf-1

Well, BLACK+DECKER contacted me with a challenge to finish a project that I had been putting off as part of their Your Big Finish campaign. Through this campaign, BLACK+DECKER is encouraging homeowners and renters to finish neglected projects around their homes for a chance to win $10,000 and other prize packages. I knew immediately I wanted to tackle this bookshelf!

Upcycled-Home-Office-Bookshelf-2

Lucky for me it was easy to deconstruct. I cleared off the junk, took it apart, taped up the ends of the legs and got out my white spray paint! I needed to do a few coats since the original color was so dark. Once the paint was dry I reassembled the shelf. When I was putting items back on the shelf I kept it to a minimum instead of just cramming everything back on. I moved some of the extra books and boxes to a shelf that wasn’t so front and center in my office and focused on making this shelf both pretty and functional. It was so easy, I can’t believe I procrastinated for so long! It’s amazing that a little white spray paint can make such a huge difference.

A little white spray paint can make a huge difference!

Now it’s your turn to finish a project! BLACK+DECKER has launched this movement to get all the unfinished home projects moving again. Join them for the opportunity to win $10,000 cash and products. Plus, they might put you and your finished project on a billboard right in the middle of Times Square. So while your family may never notice that you finished hanging the crown molding, millions of others will!

 

Click Here To Enter Your Project

 

There are weekly BLACK+DECKER prize packages (valued at approximately $440), and one Grand Prize of $10,000. Check out the finished project gallery to browse other entries and get inspiration for your own project then submit your own entry for a chance to win!

finish those incomplete projects

Many thanks to BLACK+DECKER for sponsoring today’s story and inspiring me to FINALLY finish this project!

Hammitt Handbags Giveaway

Hammitt Los Angeles Designer Handbags

I’m so excited to be able to share this giveaway with y’all today! For those of you who aren’t familiar, Hammitt is an American maker of designer handbags. Every Hammitt bag is made by hand in Los Angeles, California by skilled artisans with years of experience working with some of the biggest handbag names in the world of fashion. Skilled leather artisans curate every detail, from suede lining and polished rivets, to discreet cell-phone pockets and smart reversible straps. Hammitt embodies youthfulness, self-confidence, and effortless style. Every made-to-order piece is a timeless staple with each bag becoming a personal reflection of its individual collector.

Hammitt-Lockland-Handbag

Now for the fun part! I’ve teamed up with Hammit Handbags to help spread the word about an amazing giveaway. You can enter for a chance to win a limited edition handbag by Hammitt worth $760, courtesy of Stearns & Foster (shown above). One lucky winner will also receive their very own hand-stitched Stearns & Foster Lux Estate mattress. Hammitt has created this exclusive bag for Stearns & Foster, one which embodies their values of American-made, timeless styling, superior craftsmanship and the world’s finest materials. Called, “The Lockland” after the birthplace of Stearns & Foster, the bag is a highly versatile, go-anywhere, carryall satchel handcrafted in a timeless silhouette with Hammitt signature rivets and rough-edge. Stearns & Foster is giving away 20 of these bags through their Facebook page, so go check it out!
 

Enter To Win By Clicking Here

 

Abbreviated Rules: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited by law. Open to legal US residents (incl. DC), 18 years or older (19 years old in AL and NE, 21 in MS) at start of Sweepstakes. Promotion consists of 4 separate Sweepstakes the first of which begins at 12:00 a.m. ET on 8/13/14, and the last of which ends on 12/14/14, at 11:59 p.m. ET. To enter, click here, “like” the page, and complete and submit the registration form. 20 prize winners will receive a limited edition Hammitt® Handbag. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) of each: $760. One winner will receive a Stearns & Foster® mattress set (ARV: $1499). Limit one (1) prize per person/per household. Odds of winning are based on the number of eligible entries received per sweepstakes. For complete rules and eligibility requirements, visit www.stearnsandfoster.com Sponsor: Tempur Sealy International, Inc. Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. Photo via Hammitt.

Just Dance

Just Dance 2015

My sister and I hardly ever played video games growing up. I guess as girls we always had other priorities when writing out our Christmas lists. We’d only play on occasion at our cousin’s house, I think it was the original Nintendo. One year for Christmas we got Game Boys, but still really only played those on road trips. I think our dad used them more than we did! But ever since the more interactive games started coming out with Wii and PlayStation, I have been dying to play JustDance, and now, 5 years after the first release, since Zander already has a PlayStation, I finally broke down and bought the PlayStation Camera and got Just Dance 2015!

Jasmine Playing Just Dance 2015

My sis was just home visiting so I made her play with me after I got it all set up. It is SO fun! And quite the workout, it’s like exercise in disguise. It’s the perfect game to get your family or friends up and moving. With a fresh tracklist of more than 40 of the hottest hits and throwback tunes, there’s something for everyone! Players can dance along to hit songs like “Maps” by Maroon 5  and “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, or classic favorites like “Walk This Way” by Run DMC & Aerosmith. So far my favorite song to dance to is “Problem” by Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea, but I have plenty more to go!

Ciera Playing Just Dance 2015

Ok, so the dancing is a blast, but the funniest part is once you finish the song, it plays it back for you to watch – it’s hilarious! There is also a karaoke feature and you can get extra points for singing along. I’m definitely going to be playing a lot, even if it’s just home alone. I need to take some dance party breaks from work right?!

Playing Just Dance 2015

Something else really great is that Just Dance 2015 and Stomp Out Bullying have partnered to bring awareness to National Bullying Prevention Month by showing people everywhere that “it’s okay to dance to your own beat!”

Find everything you need to play on Amazon: Just Dance 2015 | PlayStation 4 or Wii | PlayStation 4 Camera

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you.

Selfie Font by Lian Types

Selfie: it’s the word of the year. Never were so many silly self portraits taken and posted across the globe as in 2014. So what about Maximiliano Sproviero’s typeface named after this crazy phenomenon? Was it called Selfie because there’s something narcissistic about it? Maybe just because it is such a perfectly eclectic product of its time. That sums it up pretty well: geometric construction combined with neon tube lines, penstroke connections and abundant swashes. Based on vintage signage scripts as seen in Buenos Aires’ Galerías, Selfie combines vintage charm with digital versatility. Check out the rugged Printed version for that popular letterpress look, and the attractive construction set of banners in Selfie Flags. And y’all know I like to share a good font deal – Selfie is 25% off until November 18th, so if you like it, grab it now!

Selfie Font by Lian Types

 Type samples from MyFonts.com. Affiliate links used.

4 Signs That Your Visual Branding Needs A Facelift

Visual Branding Mockup

As we head into November full speed ahead, now is a great time to pause for a moment, step back and take a look at your business. Does your visual branding need a refresh or maybe even a total overhaul? Is your brand identity making a good first impression on your potential clients? Not sure, here are four signs that your identity design may need a facelift:

1. It no longer represents your business

Maybe you’ve decided to offer different services, have expanded or maybe you have done a complete 180. Sometimes your businesses can slowly evolve over time and you don’t even realize it’s happening!

2. You don’t feel proud

Your branding conveys the quality of your business and should reflect your values. Your website, business card, and printed materials are often the first interface that a potential client has with your business. You have a few seconds to make a good impression and you should be proud to hand out cards and send people to your site.

3. You are attracting the wrong client or your target audience has changed

Your visual identity should accurately represent your brand’s personality. If people keep contacting you looking for a style or services that you don’t offer, then it might be time to revisit your brand identity to focus on attracting your target audience.

4. Your current look is dated, poor-quality or non-existent

Your visual branding should be timeless, not trendy. With so many platforms these days, clients should be able to recognize you at a glance through your brand identity. Are your website, printed materials and social sites cohesive? They should be.

Still not sure if you are ready? Read Sprucing Up Your Branding and download the free Questions For Rebranding Worksheet to help you figure it out. Still confused about what is right for your business? A consultation is a great place to start. Sometimes you just need to talk it out!

P.S. Helping people is my passion and I’d love to help you create a successful brand identity for your business so get in touch as there are limited bookings available before the end of the year!

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That’s A Wrap: October

I’m a few days early to wrap up October, but I know everyone is going to be distracted by Halloween and wanted to make sure you didn’t miss out on my festive recipes and freebies from the month! In other news, my sister is coming to visit for the first time since she moved to New York earlier this year, SO excited! AND lot’s of great stuff happened in the studio, on the blog and around the web:

Ciera Design Blog Posts OCT

 

On The Blog

– One of my favorite Made In Mind events to date, The Garden Party and Floral Demo
– Worn Stories had been such a fun book to flip through and read
– A Fall recipe round-up!
– A Halloween twist on a favorite snack: Eyeball Caprese Salad
– Dress up your water bottles for Halloween with these free printables
– An inside look to the Marseille France markets
– I picked a winner for my 5 year blogiversary giveaway, is it you?! Thanks again to everyone who entered!
– Why personal cloud storage is a MUST for any home or small office

 

In The Studio

– I actually designed this Rock Band and Converse themed invitation last year but am just getting around to publishing it!
– I created a fiesta version to my black and gold safari invite, so happy with how it tuned out
– Sent a few things to press including BIZ Issue 2 and an invitation for the BA Rudolph Foundation!
– Got my personal cloud storage all set up and working out some new systems and processes for 2015
– My Gold Animal Toppers DIY kit is still available!

 

Elsewhere

Decor Fix threw an amazing modern gold safari baby shower inspired by my invites!
– Thanks to Kory for sharing my stock photo site roundup
– Thanks to Homemade By You and Mother for featuring my paint and glitter dipped pumpkins

 

Sponsor Love

I’ve introduced them here on the blog before but I’ve been dying to tell y’all about Brian Gavin Diamonds new rose gold collection. Maybe I’m getting all lovey dovey from wedding planning but I just think these are SO romantic!

Brian-Gavin-Diamonds

Adorned by many. Loved by all just like you! Introducing the Italian Rose Gold Collection from Brian Gavin Diamonds. Each unique piece of jewelry is crafted from 14k Italian Rose Gold with white gold, diamond cut beads. Available in earrings, necklaces and bracelets – this affordable collection provides ultra romantic accessories for the fall.

Brian Gavin Diamonds is the leading authority in precision diamond cutting and exquisite, hand-crafted jewelry design. They are committed to providing customers with an enriching, life-changing experience with every custom piece. Follow Brian Gavin Diamonds on Twitter, Pinterest and don’t miss them on Instagram, they have some really awesome videos!

 

Favorite Font of October

Harmon-Font

Sponsor the Ciera Design Blog

Rock Band & Converse Themed Event and Invitation Design

I just realized I updated my portfolio with this design but never posted it here on the blog, oopsies! For this special party, the client was inspired by Rock Band and Converse and it was my job to merge those ideas into a cohesive invitation suite, it was super fun to work on! I started out by designing an emblem for the event and then worked that into the invitation design. I really wanted the invitation to be memorable for this special occasion. They had quite a bit of information for different aspects of the event that we split up onto multiple cards then pulled everything together with the die cut, foil stamped belly band. The emblem really helped tie the whole event together from the invitation suite to t-shirts, cups and even gobo lighting on the dance floor!

Rock Band Bat Mitzvah Invitation Suite Ciera Design Rock Band Bat Mitzvah Invite Ciera Design Bat Mitzvah Invite Lined Envelopes Ciera Design Black Pink Gold Bat Mitzvah Invite Ciera Design Rock Band Converse Bat Mitzvah Invite Ciera Design Rock Band Converse Bat Mitzvah Invite Ciera Design Rock Band Converse Bat Mitzvah Belly Band Detail

 

 

Why Small Businesses and Bloggers Need Private Cloud Storage

Why Small Businesses and Bloggers Need Private Cloud StorageCiera-Design-Studio-DeskCiera-Design-Studio-DetailsCiera-Design-Studio-Computer Ciera-Design-Studio-Workspace

Today I want to tell you about why you should set up your own private cloud for your home office or creative business, but first a story.

My business has been going through quit a bit lately. Some good, some bad. Let’s get the bad out-of-the-way. I have been having some serious computer issues. I limped it along for months but finally had to send it off for repairs. As y’all know, my computer is a major part of how I make a living and it’s really not possible for me to get much done without it. Luckily I was able to borrow a computer but it still hasn’t been easy. I had to save all my files to a drive making sure I didn’t forget any fonts, graphics, working files, estimates, etc. Not fun.

Another challenge is that I’ve always worked from a laptop. I like the versatility but it’s not ideal as my only computer. I have been contemplating getting a desktop but I wasn’t sure how I’d work on both without constantly sending files back and forth.

Now the good! Something else going on behind the scenes right now is that I’m bringing on some part-time help in the design studio, exciting but scary! I’m so used to working alone. Everything is organized in my head but having employees means that everyone needs to be on the same page. So I’m working on some new processes and implementing some new technology. We all need access to the same files, otherwise things will get very confusing.

I wasn’t really sure how to achieve all of this seamlessness that I was after. Then with absolutely perfect timing WD, a Western Digital Company saved the day by providing me with a My Cloud EX2 to use and review… serious dream come true. This is what I was looking for and I didn’t even know it. Personal cloud storage! Basically, it is a physical hard drive connected to your Internet that you can access from anywhere. Totally ideal for small office and home office businesses.

 

Why I Love Private Cloud Storage

  • one-time cost – unlike many public cloud options, the My Cloud EX2 just has a one-time cost, purchase the drive and you’re done. You can also add as many users as you need!
  • easy setup – plug it in and go through the simple setup and you’re up and running with an intuitive interface
  • security – allows you to set up permissions-based folders so you can give an employee or family member limited access to access or upload files
  • peace of mind – knowing your data is backed up and secure with cloud storage for small businesses makes it easier to focus on other things to make your business successful
  • wireless back ups – the drive gets plugged into a power source and your internet during setup but never directly to your computer so your backups happen without you even thinking about it
  • file sharing – easily generate email links for files or folders. When a client clicks on the link they are given a zip of the files you selected. This allows you to send files that are too large for emailing.
  • anytime, anywhere access – with mobile and desktop apps you are not limited to what you can fit on your phone – if you download the app you can view all files from your drive at home. You can connect multiple computers and devices for seamless integration.
  • automatic transfer via camera - you can connect your camera directly to the My Cloud EX2 and it copies files automatically
  • storage space – photos from my blog take up a lot of space and I NEVER delete client projects. Luckily the My Cloud EX2 provides several capacity options, up to 8TB, to choose from.
  • speed – files load much faster to the EX2 than they do to a remote cloud.
  • working remotely – I want to be able to travel and I want employees to work from anywhere. My Cloud EX2 is such a huge benefit when working in multiple offices, computers or on the road.
  • streaming – stream videos and photos to connected TVs, media players, gaming consoles

If you have a small business, you really need to get one of these systems! I can’t believe I’m only now setting one up! Be sure to check out more of the features at Western Digital’s website and share this story with other small business owners, this knowledge is major!

Many thanks to WD for letting me try the private cloud with the EX2. Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you and all opinions are my own. The two photos of me are by Hannah Hudson Photography.

Halloween Caprese Salad

Halloween Eyeball Caprese Salad


I’m back with more Halloween fun for y’all today! I have a TON of basil growing in my yard right now and I absolutely love caprese salads so I wanted to make a yummy recipe with a spooky twist. I know that olives are not typically included in a caprese salad but I also LOVE black olives and needed the pop of black for my food art creation. They are the perfect option for creating tasty and creative food art for Halloween. This recipe is super easy and a great healthy alternative to all of the candy at Halloween parties.

Ingredients mozzarella tomatoes olives basil

Ingredients

Basil Leaves
Fresh Mozzarella Pearls
California Black Ripe Olives
Grape Tomatoes
Balsamic Reduction

Halloween Table Setup with Caprese Salad

Directions

First, slice your tomatoes and olives. Next, using a spoon, mash your mozzarella pearls (this gives them a little more texture and makes them a little larger). Then place your basil leaves out on a tray and layer the tomatoes, mozzarella and olives on top. The final step is to drizzle the balsamic reduction on top before serving. You can serve them plain with toothpicks or have some chips or crackers on the side. Enjoy!

Eyeball Caprese Salad in Bat Glasses

Don’t forget to download the water bottle labels that I designed as well, they add a special touch to your Halloween table setting.

Halloween Caprese Salad on Platter

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you.