Our 2014 Holiday Cards

This isn't our first year sending out Christmas cards, but this is the first year I designed them completely by myself! In the past, I've ordered our cards through Shutterfly, Simply to Impress and TinyPrints, which have adorable designs at affordable prices. This year, I just couldn't find a card with the exact message and design that I wanted, so I made my own! 

At the last second, I decided to add a design to the back of our card as well. I know some families who do yearly newsletters to go with their holiday cards. It's just the two of us, so instead of a full-blown newsletter, I decided to do a quick list of some highlights from 2014 and some of our "wishes" for 2015. It was fun to think back on everything that's happened in the past year and exciting to think about everything we are planning and hoping for in the new year! 

SSDC - 2014 Holiday Cards 2

I'm curious, do you print an extra copy of your family's holiday card to keep and/or scrapbook each year? I've been thinking about starting a simplified Christmas scrapbook album, where each year would get a two page spread. One page would have a copy of that year's holiday card and the other page would have just a few of our favorite photos from that year's celebrations. I think it would be fun to flip through the book years from now and watch our family change and grow! 

Custom Designs & Fun Wedding Mad Lib

I love creating custom designs, especially when I get the chance to create something for a friend! I met Grace about 5 or 6 years ago through scrapbooking . As she was planning her wedding this summer, she contacted me about creating some custom paper goods for her rehearsal dinner that fit her wedding colors and theme. I had a great time creating a rehearsal dinner invitation, wedding day schedule, phone tree, mad lib and thank you card for her to give to her wedding party and family. 

Stevie Storck Design Co - Grace's Custom Designs

You can now purchase one of the designs I created for Grace through Young Tradition Studio. This fun wedding mad lib is available as an Instant Download! It's a great last minute addition to your wedding fun. Pass it out at your rehearsal dinner like Grace did, or leave a stack on every table at your reception! 

And I have another great offer for you! For a limited time only, if you sign up for the Stevie Storck Design Co. Newsletter, I will personally send you a coupon for 50% off any Instant Download item in my Etsy shop, Young Tradition StudioThis offer is limited to the first 10 newsletter subscribers, so be sure to submit your sign up now!



School is in Session! | Blogging for the Classroom

It's Back-to-School time! It still feels a bit odd not to be stocking up on school supplies and textbooks, even though this is the second September since I graduated from college. My mother is a middle school teacher and I have several other friends and family members that are educators, and from them I've been learning about cool ways that technology is being introduced to the classroom.

Many teachers are now using blogs as a way to communicate with students and their parents, create interactive assignments or to share ideas with other teachers. I think this is a fantastic idea!  Ms. Cassidy's Classroom is a amazing blog that written by a teacher in Canada. Her blogs tagline is, "A Class of Six Year Olds Inviting the World into their Classroom" and that's truly what her blog does! She updates the Classroom blog with photos and videos of their lessons and activities for the day. Each student also has their own page, where she posts scanned images of their art work, to videos of them narrating a picture book that they wrote and created themselves. She also has a Classroom twitter account where it looks like she lets her students type the messages because there are some adorable misspellings. 

My best friend's father is a first grade teacher at a military base in North Carolina, and he recently started a class blog to use this school year. This is his first experience with blogging so I offered to help him set up his website and design a custom logo to use as a blog header. The Brennemans are a very athletic family, so I wanted to bring some sporty style into his blog header design. I also wanted to incorporate some "Carolina Blue" to help this Cowboys fan fit in with his new surroundings in the South! What do you think?

fabulousinfirst.jpg

A custom header is a simple solution, but it does wonders to make a free blog template from a hosting site like Blogger, Wordpress or SquareSpace look more interesting and personalized. First impressions are so important when it comes to your blog design, so you want to make sure your header reflects your blog's personality and catches your readers attention. 

If you are interested in adding a custom header design to your blog or Etsy shop, email me at stevie@steviestorck.com for a quote! 

Announcing... Stevie Storck Design Co. !

Last month, I wrote about a project that I've been working on. Something that I'm really passionate about and that has been my complete focus for the last 3-4 months. This is it! Welcome to my new website, which will be the new home of my blog and also the platform for my new business Stevie Storck Design Co.! I just got the paperwork back from the state of PA last week and I've got to tell you, it feels good to be OFFICIAL! 

Stevie Storck Design Co. is the culmination of my past five years of education and experience. My primary focus will be interior design and decorating moving forward, but I am excited to offer a variety of services including custom design and event styling. I will still be creating designs for my Etsy shop, Young Tradition Studio and in the next year, I plan to launch an online boutique of unique home decor items and curated vintage finds. I invite you to explore my new website to learn more about my design services! 

I also have a lot of new plans for this blog! I intend to start posting much more regularly, on topics like interior design, party planning, decorating and DIY projects. I will even be featuring some guest bloggers who I can't wait to introduce you to! Even though this new website is geared towards my design business, I will continue to share updates about my life and sometimes write about my hobbies outside of design. This is something that I've done since I started this blog in 2011 and after much thought I have decided that it is not something I want to change. Some people think there needs to be a black and white line between our professional and personal selves, but for me, that doesn't feel genuine. Whether you are a friend, a reader, or a potential client, I want you to know me as my authentic self and I want to get to know YOU in the same context. 

So to my past readers who have followed my blog to this new site, thank you for your time, your patience with my blogging hiatus and your continued support. To those of you just joining us, I hope that my reimagined blog is a source of inspiration and positivity for you, both in design and in life. I can't wait to share this new journey with you! 

 

Q&A

Happy Thursday everyone! I've compiled a list of questions that I am asked a lot through my blog, my Etsy shop and in my daily life. Hopefully you'll learn a little something about me!

Q: Is Stevie your real name? 

No, Stevie isn't short for Stephanie and no, my Dad's name isn't Steven. But my Dad is a big Fleetwood Mac fan and that's why he named me Stevie, after the lead singer Stevie Nicks. As a kid, it did bother me that I could never find my name in those racks of pre-personalized keychains they sell at the beach and that I literally went an entire year being called Steven by my elderly health teacher who just got more confused every time I tried to correct him. But now, I really like having a unique name and I'm glad my parents didn't play it safe and just name me Stephanie.

Q: You've said you are addicted downloading new fonts, do you have a favorite?

I can sit for hours browsing and downloading new fonts. Since I mostly use free fonts, some of these turn out to be winners and some of them don't. My favorite free fonts are always changing, but Canter, Janda Stylish Script and Walkway  are all good ones. My favorite font that I've purchased right now is Asterism by Great Lakes Lettering.

Q: Did you go to school for design?

Yes, I spent one year at La Roche College in the Interior Design program before transferring and completing my Bachelor of Interior Architecture degree at Chatham University. A lot of people ask the difference between interior design, interior architecture and decorating. I wrote a post about this called "Why Interior Design is more than Decorating".

Q: What are your hobbies other than design?

My biggest hobby going through school was music. I was a tuba player with the Marching, Concert and Symphonic bands but my real passion was singing Alto in Concert Choir. I love music so much that I almost went to school for Music Education instead of design. While I know I made the right decision for me, I still get sad sometimes and wish that I had Hermione Granger's time turner so I could have two careers! In the last couple of years, I've also picked up the Mandolin and find a lot of enjoyment playing and singing with Anthony (who plays bass and guitar).

Since I've graduated college, I've picked up a few more hobbies. Recently, I've been reading a lot more -- in May of 2014, I read 6 books! I've also gotten really into meal planning and trying new recipes lately, which you might have noticed if you follow me on Pinterest. I have 3 different cooking boards, "Recipes to Try", "This Week's Menu" and "Tried and True Recipes".  I'm also currently taking a Ceramics class! Yeah, I have a lot of hobbies...

Q: What is your favorite color?

My favorite color is white. Which, according to some gossip magazine, is also Kate Middleton's favorite color! I have the biggest girl crush on Kate Middleton. I made all of my friends sleep in the lounge of our dorm room so we could wake up at 4:00am to watch the Royal Wedding. I think I was the only one who watched the entire thing without drifting back to sleep.

Q: You say you're from Central PA, does that mean you are Amish?

This is a very common assumption. There's a phrase out there that Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in the middle, and my story only reinforces that idea. No, I am not Amish but I grew up about as close to Amish as an "English" (what the Amish call us) person can be. I grew up on a dairy farm in a rural community outside of Delta, PA. There are probably another half dozen farms within 2 miles of my parents house and most of them are owned and operated by Amish families. Many people think of the Amish as a secluded community that doesn't interact with modern society, but at least in the small towns around where I am from, the Amish and English communities are very connected.

Q: When and why did you start blogging?

I started blogging in the summer of 2011 when Anthony and I were preparing to move into our first apartment together. I originally just wanted to keep a record of the DIY projects I was doing for our first home together. As our lives have changed, my blog has changed as well. I write about everything from newlywed life and new recipes I am trying to home decor tips and craft projects I am working on.

Q: How did you get started with Etsy and grow your stationery business?

I started my Etsy shop, Young Tradition Studio in February of 2013 at the suggestion of my older sister. You can read more on my Etsy shop's About Page. Growing it has been more of a experiment than an exact science, and I have a lot that I still want to change and improve. For me, the key to running a successful Etsy business is consistency and customer service. I've been able to create a "signature style" in my offerings on Etsy, so even if I am not offering a specific item that a customer is looking for, I will often have people request a custom design from me just because they like the other items in my shop. Customer service is also very important.  I do my best to respond to customers the same day that they contact me and I also shy away from generic responses. For me it is easy to be personable with my customers because they are contacting me for help with an exciting life event, like a marriage, baby shower or birthday party. As someone who LOVES weddings and babies, I get genuinely excited for all of my customers and feel so flattered that they have chosen me to help them celebrate their milestones.

Q: How did you meet your husband?

Anthony and I met in 2003, on the first day of seventh grade. We had all of the same classes, including homeroom together. It wasn't until our sophomore year of high school that our friendship turned into something more, but we've never looked back since then. <3

Q: What was it like to grow up on a farm?

Growing up on a farm and being a member or 4-H was all I knew as a kid. It wasn't until more recently that I realized just how unique of a childhood I had compared to the majority of people my age. To us, summer meant hay season and 4-H shows, not relaxing at the beach. In fact, my family didn't take a week-long trip to the beach until after we sold the dairy cows in 2004 - we just couldn't be away from the farm for that long. I missed a week of school each fall for the local fair, spending days taking care of our animals and preparing for the show and night sleeping on cots in the barn. We had a lot of fun back then. I remember one night at the Solanco Fair, we waited until my friend Kyle was asleep on his cot, before carrying him (cot and all) outside to a grassy spot in between barns and leaving him there. I remember playing cards in the stalls with Carlyn, using my lounging cow's belly as an impromptu card table. I remember being sweaty and covered in cow hair when we were grooming our cows for the show and how annoyed my cows got when I tried to clean their ears with baby oil. It was an awesome childhood. My Dad is still farming, growing crops and raising a small herd of beef cattle, but sometimes I still miss having the dairy cows around. Farming will always be a huge part of my life and even though Anthony and I aren't planning to become farmers, I hope that we can share some of these same experiences with our future children down the road.

Q: What's your favorite interior design style?

I always say that I am a schizophrenic when it comes to design styles -- I have so many different design personalities! I'm definitely eclectic, but I would define my current style as Rustic Traditional with accents of Midcentury Modern.

Q: Do you offer interior design services?

I am currently offering Digital Design Services and Color Consulting through this website, but I plan on expanding my services soon! (Update: I now offer Interior Design and Decorating services through StevieStorck.com!

Q: Best book you've read recently?

I recently read two books by Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl and Attachments and thought both were FANTASTIC! She has another book, Eleanor & Park that is on my reading list and a new book called Landline that is coming out this summer. I get most of my reading inspiration from Janssen at Everyday Reading and through my friends on GoodReads.com.

Q: Favorite movie?

Walk the Line. I want to be June Carter AND Reese Witherspoon. Amazing movie.


Have more questions for me? Leave your question as a comment and I will respond!