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Mojito Drawing & Card Design

Mojito Recipe Card

It’s been a while since I showed my illustration process here on my blog, so I decided to share a mojito drawing I did back in April. There’s nothing quite as refreshing as an ice cold mojito, so it seems especially appropriate to show this now while we’re in the middle of a mini heat wave here in the UK 😁

I initially created the illustration as one of two designs for a competition. It was run by Ohh Deer in conjunction with Sainsbury’s and the brief was to create Valentine’s card designs. I might share the other design with you at another time. Spoiler alert… it’s also a cocktail recipe design!

My mojito drawing process

The mojito drawing was hand drawn on my iPad with an Apple Pencil using Procreate (an amazing drawing app). I’ve exported a time lapse of the drawing process so you can see the drawing process. There was quite a bit of faffing around, especially at the end when I realised the limes were all wrong 😆. I thought it turned out pretty well in the end though!

I then created a square card template in GIMP (open source software similar to Photoshop, but free!) This was the format required for the competition and is quite different from my usual A6 card designs. I wanted to include the recipe to make the card more useful and fun. I tried a few different layouts before settling on the one I liked.

Here’s how the final card design looked with both illustration and text…

Mojito drawing with recipe

And here is the design as a square greeting card…

Mojito Recipe Card on teal background

I hope you found this peek behind the scenes interesting. Would you like to see more of these types of blog posts? Let me know by sending me a message on Instagram or Facebook 🙂

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Homemade Gift Voucher Ideas

homemade gift voucher

Creating a homemade gift voucher or DIY coupon booklet can be a great gift solution. They’re original, can be low cost and you don’t need to wait for delivery. Need some inspiration? Read on, I’ve got  you covered…

homemade gift voucher

Reasons to give a DIY gift voucher

Giving a homemade gift voucher or coupons solves a lot of different problems. Whether you:

  • can’t get to the shops;
  • left it too late to get a gift delivered;
  • are a bit strapped for cash;
  • can’t think of anything the recipient needs;
  • want to give a gift (like an experience) that can’t be wrapped;
  • want to offer flexibility to the recipient; or
  • want to give a gift that is a bit different and much more personal

making your own gift vouchers ticks all the boxes!

Ideas for homemade gift vouchers

You can either give a voucher for something that will cost money later on, or offer coupons for a gift that makes use of your time, effort and/or talents!
Here are some ideas:

  • Breakfast in bed
  • Trip to theatre or cinema to see the show of their choice
  • A romantic dinner for two
  • A back rub or massage
  • Wash the dishes for a week
  • Car wash and valet
  • A tank full of petrol
  • A night of babysitting
  • A new outfit
  • Sexy treats (for your other half only!)
  • A ‘taxi service’ to and from a destination of their choice (great for teenagers)
  • Mow their lawn
  • A home cooked meal delivered to their door
  • Daily dog walking for a week or a month
  • A bubble bath with candles, champagne/hot chocolate and no interruptions!

Hopefully these will inspire you to come up with some of your own ideas too. You can come up with homemade gift voucher ideas for pretty much anybody, from children to grandparents and everyone in between. As long as it’s something they actually want, you can’t really go wrong!

Presentation

There are several different ways to present your voucher or coupons. You could use a greeting card with the gift written inside, print out a gift voucher or certificate or create a booklet of coupons. If you’re not very crafty or don’t much like making or designing things there are plenty of gift voucher templates online you can use. You could also just buy a small notebook and write a variety of different coupon ideas on each page inside. With homemade gift vouchers it’s very much the thought that counts, so don’t worry too much if your presentation is a bit lacking 😁
If you come up with any great ideas and post them on Instagram or Facebook, tag me (@loulongworth) so I can be inspired too!

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Printable Christmas Gift Tags

printable christmas gift tags

Fancy some printable Christmas gift tags? This week I wanted to give you something to say thank you for visiting my blog and all the other support you’ve shown me.

The gift tags designs are based on some of the illustrations I’ve done for my Christmas card collection so you can also buy a card to match too if you like.

To get your gift tags, just sign up as a VIP subscriber below. Next week, when I send out my monthly newsletter, you’ll get your printable Christmas gift tags as well! If you’re already a VIP then you don’t need to do anything, they’ll arrive in your inbox next week anyway!

become a vip now

My subscribers are really important to me, so I do my best to treat them well (they are VIPs after all!)

Why you’ll love being a VIP!

When you subscribe you’ll get access to a couple of other freebies immediately. Every so often I also send out an additional treat in the monthly newsletter. You’ll also get a 15% discount off anything in my online greeting card shop (or 10% off in my Etsy store) – every time you shop!

When I release a new collection you will get other special offers too. Sometimes it will be a bigger discount, sometimes a free gift, sometimes another offer like BOGOF or similar. So it really is worth your while to sign up if you like my cards 😊

I only ever send out a newsletter once a month so you don’t have to worry about getting inundated like the cat on the right! The only exception is when you first sign up. You’ll get a few introductory emails within the first couple of weeks. This is just so we can get to know each other a bit better. After that it’s just once a month. Because I’m all about the drawing, not the writing…

My newsletter will also update you on any new blog posts that I’ve added, as well as new products in my shop. And obviously you’ll be the first to hear when I release a new collection!
Of course you can always unsubscribe if you decide you’re no longer interested. Even if you just want to get your hands on the gift tags next week, you could unsubscribe as soon as you get them. But you’d be missing out 😉

So sign up now and enjoy your freebies. And I’ll see you in your inbox next week with your printable Christmas gift tags – I can’t wait!

become a vip now

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A Gift Wrapping Station

Gift Wrapping Station

Why on earth would you need a gift wrapping station? Well partly so you can feel smug and organised, but mostly because it makes life so much easier when you need to wrap a whole load of presents! It’s really frustrating when the stuff you need is all over the place and as soon as you sit down to start you realise you’ve forgotten the sellotape or run out of paper…

The best part is that a gift wrapping station doesn’t have to take up a lot of room. There are so many great hacks for creating one in whatever space you have available. And even if you’ve left things to the last minute you’ll still have everything to hand.

A sideboard gift wrapping station

I use a set of drawers for mine. The bottom drawer is the perfect width and depth for rolls of wrapping paper, brown paper and tissue paper. The middle drawer holds all the stuff I hoard save for making my wrapping look pretty. Things like ribbons, twine and bows, gift tags and other cute bits and pieces… (take a look here to see what kinds of things I keep ‘just in case’). It also holds gift bags and little gift boxes I’ve kept from presents I’ve been given. The top left drawer has a box of cards, scissors and sellotape in it. (The top right drawer holds other stuff that’s not related to gift wrapping 😄)

A gift wrapping station in a cupboard

If you have the space a cupboard would also be great. There are loads of great ideas on Pinterest for this, including using tension rods to keep rolls of wrapping paper in place and using baskets or tubs to organise other bits and pieces. You can also use kitchen roll/paper towel holders attached to the inside of the door for holding rolls of ribbon and washy tape.

A mounted gift wrapping station

If you don’t have any storage space available, then you can easily create a wrapping station that’s mounted on a wall or door.

Here’s a quick video to show you how to use the inside of a cupboard door.

Or you could use pegboard that’s mounted on any wall. It’ll make life easier if you put it near a desk or table so that you have a surface to do the wrapping on, though I’ve often ended up wrapping on the floor anyway 😆

Peg board gift wrapping station

A wrapping kit in a box

If you really can’t find anywhere to create a gift wrapping station, then the next best thing is a gift wrapping kit in a box. Any box that will hold your supplies in will do. It’s just so much more convenient when everything you need is in one place. And this has the advantage that you can just carry it to wherever you want to do the wrapping.

Just do it…

The great thing is you can go as minimal or as crazy as you like depending on the space you’ve got available. If you really want to get gift wrapping station envy, then take a look at these ideas on Pinterest... I think I’d have to either win the lottery or become a professional gift wrapper before I could ever justify the space taken up by some of these! But even the smallest, simplest solution is worthwhile, so go ahead and create your own in your own way.

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Custom Illustration Prints as Gifts

Custom illustration prints - Eiffel Tower

As well as selling greeting cards and doing custom cartoon portrait cards, did you know I also do custom illustration prints that make great personalised gifts? You may already have seen some of the cartoon portrait prints I do, but enjoy doing other custom illustration too.

I was approached recently by someone who had seen this drawing of Tower Bridge that I did a while ago. She want a collection of specific landmarks and places in the same style to put in some new frames she and her husband had bought, including the Tower Bridge illustration.

Here’s what I came up with. She chose the subject of each custom illustration print and let me know what size they each needed to be to fit her frames.

Custom illustration prints - Lions at Trafalgar Square
Lions at Trafalgar Square

Little Mermaid Copenhagen
Little Mermaid Copenhagen

Lyme Park
Lyme Park

Stippy Stappy St Agnes
Stippy Stappy St Agnes

The Ritz
The Ritz

The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower

Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge

Each of those places was special to her and her husband in one way or another so now every time they look at their prints they’re reminded of the memories associated with each illustration.

I loved doing completely different illustrations to my usual for this order – I do enjoy doing the cartoon portraits, but it’s nice to have a change as well 🙂

A custom illustration of a place or topic that is special to the person you’re giving it to would make a really great personalised gift that you know they’ll love. And I’m happy to adapt to a variety of different styles to suit your tastes, from the detailed monochrome drawings above to my usual cartoonish style, or perhaps something in-between.
Here’s an example of a custom cartoon family portrait I did earlier this year for a wonderfully loyal customer – this would be ideal as a Christmas or birthday gift for parents or grandparents. If you’re interested in the process behind this particular portrait then I wrote about it here: My custom cartoon portrait process.

Custom illustration prints
So if there’s anything particular you have in mind then please feel free to get in touch. My cartoon portraits are all available to order in my shop, but if you’d like something more customised or even completely different, like the landmark illustrations, then I’m always happy to quote based on the time it will take to complete.