Category Archives: Inspiration

New Instagram!

I don’t know why I didn’t think of doing this sooner, but I finally set up a personal Instagram account! Now I can gush about all my non-Wit & Whistle interests without annoying people who just want to keep up with my product line. Woo! So going forward, @witandwhistle will be only about Wit & Whistle related stuff, and @amandaraewright will have pretty pics of my home, house plants, miscellaneous creative projects (like pottery), and whatever else I come up with.

I need to figure out a way to tie my blog in with Instagram. I don’t like that all my photos eventually get lost in my Instagram feed, whereas my blog posts are more permanent, and anyone on the whole internet can search them out. Do any of you still blog in this brave new social media world?

Here are some photos of our new house from my new insta-g account! After much deliberating I decided to jump on the big circular mirror bandwagon. There’s no going back. I want MOAR! I want them everywhere. Cover the walls. Gimme all the plants and circle mirrors. I’ll die blissed-out.

round mirror fireplace mantel

Fiddle Leaf Fig #3 (RIP Fiddle Leaf Figs #1 and #2) is doing quite well at the new place! I got a tiny cheap one, and it has doubled in size already! The keys to a Fiddle Leaf’s heart are apparently TONS of sunlight and watering sparingly when the soil feels dry. Boom. I win this time, Fiddle Leaf. I guess you do too, because you’re not dying.

fiddle leaf fig new growth

Here’s our master bathroom tub. I don’t take baths, but the dogs and plants tell me it’s nice. Seriously though, if you take a bath don’t you have to immediately shower to wash the soap scum off?

bathroom tub subway tile

The living room pretty much only looks like this when Fern is sleeping, and I’ve hidden all her toys. Actually I think she was awake when I took this, and I just pushed all her crap over to the left and cropped it out. Hah.

leather couch interior design

This guy is putting the monster in Monstera. Holy cow. I’m going to need to take a weed wacker to it pretty soon.

monstera plant

Here’s my favorite plant-y corner of the kitchen. Two more orchids may have shown up since I took this. What? I couldn’t help it! At $8 a piece they were practically giving them away!

kitchen plants urban jungle

Maybe I’ll tie in my instagram with my blog by re-posting my favorite photos here, but with more words. I’m not really a big writer, but I could pretend we’re chatting over coffee and just say random things. You likey?

Another question is, if I separated my Instagram into personal and business accounts why wouldn’t I do the same with my blog? #quandary #ohwaithashtagsdon’tworkonmyblog

Thanks a lot to those of you who still read my blog! I feel like blogging has gotten really weird over the last few years. Like, not totally dead, but mostly dead? It has been a bit demotivating, so I’ve been pretty flaky about posting, but I still love being able to throw a post up when I can! <3

Favorite Instagram Makers

I thought it would be fun to round up a handful of my favorite makers on instagram. Man, I really need to step up my game. I don’t know how these ladies come up with amazing photos so regularly. Bravo!

Jessica Helen of Hawk House Designs creates the coolest electroformed jewelry. I’m totally smitten. Visit her on her website or on instagram.

favorite instagram makers

Lindsay Emery of Suite One Studio amazes me with her pottery and photography. I have a small collection of her work, which is quite a feat since her shop sells out fast after her weekly updates.  Here’s Lindsay’s website and instagram.

favorite instagram makers

Sarah Benning embroiders these mind blowing botanical pieces. You know I have a weakness for houseplant art, right? Gah! So cool. Here’s Sarah’s instagram and Etsy shop.

favorite instagram makers

Dinara Mirtalipova never fails to amaze me. She’s a gouache master, for sure. Here she is on instagram, and here’s her website.

favorite instagram makers

Andrea Lauren makes the most intricate hand-carved block prints. Check out her unbelievable work on instagram and on her website.

favorite instagram makers

So, who have you been insta-stalking lately?

Business Card Inspiration

I’m going to redesign my business cards soon, so I’ve been wandering around the internet hoping to be inspired. These are some of my favorites finds so far. Have you seen any good ones lately?

If in doubt, you can’t go wrong with black ink on kraft paper. (source: ghost)

business card inspiration

This one makes me wish I had a beard so I could illustrate a cute, beardy self portrait. (source: Jared Andrew Schorr)

business card inspiration

Tape business cards = genius. You could go around sticking your business cards on people—even against their will! You’d just have to be sneaky about it. (source: akula kreative)

business card inspiration

Yes to hot pink edges. I tried to do this with gold spray paint once but failed miserably. I adore the llama too. (source: Shyama Golden)

business card inspiration

I love the idea of giving business cards a bit more dimensionality, but this wouldn’t work well for my purposes. I keep a stack of cards in my bag to pass out on the fly, and I think I would end up with a mess. (source: oh, hello friend)

business card inspiration

Washi tape and twine is another winning combo! Although I may be too lazy to assemble something this intricate. (source: Mint)

business card inspiration

The cool kids print on tags instead of using the typical business card format. (source: Joseph Parra)

business card inspiration

How great is all this layer-y, hand-stamped goodness? (source: oh, hello friend)

business card inspiration

In other news… if you commented on my blog this week, I’m sorry to say that your comment has been lost in cyberspace. Sorry! My butt-munch of a web host randomly lost all my website changes for the past week, and since I only backup my database once a week I don’t have them either. Sad! Just wanted you to know I didn’t delete them out of spite or anything!

The Makers Summit 2015

Last weekend I went to The Makers Summit, a business conference in Greenville, SC that encourages and inspires creative entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses. There were keynote speeches, workshops, panel discussions, parties, crafts, and scrumptious foodstuffs. I’m wistfully drooling just thinking about those big piles of soft pretzels with pimento cheese.

The best part for me was getting to meet other business owners and hear their stories. Running an online business can be alienating sometimes, and it’s awesome to know there are others out there doing what I do. I flipped through the notes I took at the conference, and I want to share a few little nuggets of wisdom I jotted down between doodles.

The Makers Summit 2015

What you say “yes” to and what you say “no” to define who you become. Understand the dream you’re trying to pursue, and choose your “yes”s and “no”s accordingly. —(paraphrased) Jeff Shinabarger, Plywood People

This is a great reminder. It’s a struggle for me to focus on my goals for Wit & Whistle: to revel in creative freedom, to make work I’m proud of and have fun doing it, to maintain a healthy work/life balance, and to avoid unnecessary stress. I have to say “no” to a lot of opportunities to achieve these goals, and I have to constantly reassure myself that it’s okay not to strive for somebody else’s idea of success.

“A great product is the best marketing.” —Nathan Bond, Rifle Paper Co.

I’ve found this to be true! Every time I’ve paid for advertising it hasn’t been worth the money. So, I concentrate more on creating new and better products than on my marketing efforts. If you make high quality products that people like, they have a way of making their way around the internet eventually. It was pretty unanimous among everyone at the conference that having a strong presence on Instagram is one of the best ways to spread the word about your work. I’ve resolved to post more regularly over there.

“Creativity is earned wisdom that comes with effort, time, and failure.” —Jeni Britton Bauer, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams 

Creativity isn’t some mystical super power that only certain people are born with. It’s a muscle. You have to use it often to strengthen it and practice to get good at wielding it. I thought “effort, time, and failure” summed up the process perfectly.

Gather

I asked my friend, Michelle Smith, if I could snap some photos to share of her new space in Cary, North Carolina. I think you’ll love it! She created this magical place called Gather—a combination coworking space, coffee/tea shop, and boutique featuring local makers. Gather also offers classes to teach everything from cake decorating and hand lettering to writing press releases and product branding. It’s basically a one stop shop for getting plugged in to the creative community. On top of all that, it’s gorgeous in there—incredibly stylish but still nice and homey. Just the kind of place I’d like to curl up with my sketchbook and a cup of tea.

Tonight there’s a party at Gather from 5–10pm! All merchandise will be 20% off (perfect for holiday shopping) and the Will & Pop’s food truck and Oscar William’s Gourmet Cotton Candy will be there, not to mention beer and a band. Not too shabby for a Thursday night. See you there?

Gather: Coworking/Coffee Shop/Boutique in Cary, NC

Gather: Coworking/Coffee Shop/Boutique in Cary, NC

Gather: Coworking/Coffee Shop/Boutique in Cary, NC

Gather: Coworking/Coffee Shop/Boutique in Cary, NC

Gather: Coworking/Coffee Shop/Boutique in Cary, NC

Gather: Coworking/Coffee Shop/Boutique in Cary, NC

Gather: Coworking/Coffee Shop/Boutique in Cary, NC

Gather: Coworking/Coffee Shop/Boutique in Cary, NC

Hey Raleigh/Durham/Cary people! For a while now I’ve been toying with the idea of planning a meet-up for local Wit & Whistle readers. Conveniently Gather has a conference room available for rent. I think it would be fun for a small group of us to get together for an hour or two to chat while working on whatever (portable) creative projects we have in progress, whether it be drawing, calligraphy, sewing, knitting, jewelry making, etc… It would be a great way to meet some fellow creative types, and I’m betting we’d all become fast friends. If we enjoy ourselves we could talk about making it a monthly thing. I’m not really sure if this is a good idea or if I’m just being weird, but the thought keeps nagging at me so I wanted to get it out there. Leave a comment below or send me a message to let me know if you’d be interested in meeting-up early next year, and I’ll email you if it’s going to happen!