Friday, December 30, 2016

Lazy days, New Beginnings and Creative Teams

Dear Paper Lovers,

We just love December in South Africa and we can't believe it's over! So a last post for this year before we embark on new adventures again and it is going to be a bit of a recap and update to what we are still up to. :) Enjoy!

Lazy days, a slower pace, rest, sunshine and peachy showers of lovely rain falling in Pretoria, thunder storms and Christmas time. What a joy to be with family and spending time just breathing.  It is exactly what you need after a hard year of starting new things, hoping hard and living your dream job.

We have learned so much, and in this coming new year we hope to implement those lessons. You may just see some changes over at our website again as growth is our aim. We might just surprise you with what we have planned for this year and the years to come.

On a more personal note, we believe that Faith is the foundation of anything and everything we do and our Hope is squarely placed in God, the One who is our Foundation. He is our CEO and with His guidance we hope to bring you more inspirational and beautiful products. We hope it will touch the lives of all our clients in a positive way and continue to do so in the years to come. We are not afraid to say who we are. We are Artists, Believers, Creative Designers, Teachers, Encouragers and Entrepreneurs and we hope that what we do and how we do it, will inspire other women to also live out their calling and gifts to the full. If you want to tell your story, you must believe that it can make a difference or not tell it at all. So, give things another go this year and work hard at whatever it is you know you are good at. Do not let anyone deter you from it. Stay committed. Keep trying, working and believing. Take chances and aim high.

From our family "team" to yours, we wish you all a blessed holiday season, a happy and hopeful new year and lots and lots of creativity. Do that thing you are so afraid of, live out load and show the world how BIG your BRAVE is!

and while we are ending things off for this year, here is what we have learned:

1. Never ever give up! Just keep moving forward one step at a time as that is the Light God gives.
2. Don't follow anyone else's way of doing things. Follow Christ and the Holy Spirit. Father knows best.
3. Work hard.
4.  Rest when you are tired.
5. Make time for God and family first.
6. Always try to give the best service you can for any client. Their loyalty is your reward and you never know who will become your best client.
7. Don't disregard small beginnings. You don't know where you will end up.
8. Don't let stress take over your life. Manage it.
9. Remember God is King and clients and service providers are not. Keep your perspective.
10. Don't let other people's bad attitudes become your focus or influence you to the point of giving up. The best thing you can do is to live your life well and to know that you are loved, blessed and favored by a God who cannot wait to see what you do next with the gifts He gave you. Keep looking up and keep moving forward.
11. Dream big because your God is big. He brings solutions to the table you didn't even think about.
12. Change is part of life. Growth is a process. Comparison kills creativity. Be a trend setter.
13. The challenges and resistance you face are actually part of the learning curve you need to become the person God wants you to be, to grow your business the way God wants you to grow it and nothing, no lesson is in vain. You were meant to experience the things you did, so you would know how to proceed, what pitfalls to sidestep and which directions to take and which not to take. Take note of every experience. It is valuable.

and last but not least....
Always always always trust God for every step.  If you build your life on anything else, it is shaking sand. The accolades of men will not give you the life you dream of or the life you need to be happy. What will give you true happiness and contentment is to know that you lived the life God intended for you. Don't follow your heart, lead your heart. Guard it, for it is the wellspring of Life.

With all of that, we look forward to a full and blessed 2017.

Since we put out a Design Team call for 2017 a couple of months ago, we received some fabulous entries and the following three Paper Lovers will grace our pages with their creations in the coming year. Keep a look out for them. Congrats ladies, and we are looking forward to working with you on the first creative projects soon.

We will be setting things up in the next few weeks to link to their blogs and pages so you can access their creative projects, so keep a look out for that.

December holidays are card-making season! Most of our family birthdays start in September and doesn't stop until February with most of them in November and December including or Mom's birthday on the 15th of December. So as mom turned 77 this year, I went all out with this little pink number. She was doing some sewing in the days leading up to her birthday so I thought a sewing theme would be appropriate.  We inherited our love of florals from our mom so naturally I included some flowers from our latest "Wild&Free" collection and some rolled roses I made with the Hadeda Garden Collection. I also included small elements from the Friendship begins in the Heart collection so all in all I used paper from all three our 2016 collections in one card. Such fun!

This project took me about 6-8 hours in total from conception to completion. I was so excited to give it to my Mom that I couldn't wait until the morning and had to give it to here the night before her birthday. She loved it so I was a happy puppy. :) She wants to frame this one in a box frame.

Then I decided to see how the new Wild&Free collection would behave with Christmas cards and I just couldn't stop. These cards were so quick and easy. The paper lends itself to a multitude of possibilities in English or Afrikaans. I had to stop at 5 or I would still be making cards. Here are just a couple of pics to give you some idea of what you can do with it. 

Products used:
Birthday Card
Paper: Hadeda Garden, Friendship begins in the Heart and Wild&Free Collections
Anita's 3D Glue
Metal photo corners and other little embellishments:
Various beads and pins
Ribbon and gold string
Button, Wood heart, flower trinket, small paper roses in various colors,
Gold acrylic paint
Silhouette cuts: lace, sewing machine
** Anyone interested in a tutorial and kit for this card, email us here for more info.

Christmas Cards
Paper: Wild&Free Collection
Anita's 3D glue
Silhouette Cuts: Wreath


We launched our very first Kit a while ago and it was well received. If you are interested in joining our Kit Club, drop us a line here so we can add you to our mailing list and keep you posted.

Don't forget that our store is also open 24/7 and stocked with lots of pretty paper. We deliver anywhere in South Africa right to your door!

Click here to visit our store.

Enjoy the last moments of this year with family and friends.

PS: As "Design Team" now means something else, we will update our signature for the new year too.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Whild & Free in our New Wholesale Store!

Hi there Paper Lovers,

As the summer is upon us, we have been inspired with our local weather and thinking about holidays and happy times with family and friends. Christmas is looming in the near future and summer rainstorms are cooling us in our little studio as we create up a storm.

For months now we have been working on our next collection and the two to follow. We are opening pre-ordering for Retailers/Wholesaler today (1 November 2016) and launching this new collection mid November. We are not clear on the official date yet but it will be between the 16th and the 22nd of the month. Contact us if you are interested in this new collection.

We will be uploading the individual item images during the coming week, so keep an eye out for it on our Facebook page, our Website and our Wholesale Store.

Note that the new collection will only be made available to the general public on the official launch date in mid November. 

This collection was totally done from scratch. Surita Brink, our Artist in Residence, hand painted and designed this entire collection. We are very proud of her and the lovely art she creates. Her touch gives our paper a unique thumbprint that you won't be able to find anywhere else. 


We have updated the way we sell our products on our general online store. (See Announcement on our Website's homepage here

We have now moved the Retail/Wholesale section in our general store, to a separate store called "Ivytree Wholesale".  If you have registered with us during the past year as Retailer/Wholesaler, please read our updated Terms&Conditions to see how it will affect your account with us. If you have any questions, read the FAQ section of the new Terms&Conditions and contact us if you need any help. 

The major point to notice is that to qualify for our Wholesale store (which is not automatic), you must place a bulk order to activate the account. When we receive your next/bulk order, we will create an account for you in the Wholesale Store and you are eligible for the pricing in the Wholesale store. 

If you are not able to purchase the products in the Wholesale store, you can still shop in the general store at any time. 

To keep things simple, your login for the general store will be the same as the login for the Wholesale store. (We will create an account for you in the Wholesale store as soon as you qualify for it)

What about the General store?:
Yes, we have some updates here too. No more Retail/Wholesale section. From today, all our products on our general store will have the option for you to order either a single sheet or any number of sheets available in stock. We added two check-boxes where you can choose to order 5 sheets @ R10 per sheet or 10 sheets (our previous retail packs) @ R8,50 per sheet. 

Our retail price for our paper still ranges between R10 and R14 per sheet. 

We are confident that our paper is of excellent quality and that our prices are within the range that the local market can handle. 

Recent comments from clients: 

"...if you haven't used the Ivytree Studio papers yet, you are missing something. The paper has a special "feel" to it, a lovely firmness and the more basic designs are lovely for backgrounds on cards." - Marie Smith from purple Magnolia, Gauteng 

"Thank you very much for the beautiful product and great service! " - Svetlana Austin, Polokwane

Retail/Wholesale Registration:
First you have to read our Terms&Conditions, then complete an online form over on our website. We do ask that you don't register until you are ready to place an order as your registration will only be activated with an order. Registration gives you automatic entrance to the general store but only a bulk order gives you entrance to the Wholesale store. You do have to place an order at least once every two months to keep your Wholesale account active. For more on registration, read the Terms&Conditions.

Just a little reminder of our Design Team call for 2017. The deadline for entering your audition is end of November.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A little something for a friend - Handmade card

Dear Paper Lovers,

Another little creation to share made with love. I used the Friendship begins in the heart - Collection for this one. Love love love making cards. I am a very detailed girl, so love adding all those little bits and bobs to my cards and what is a card without a flower or two. Just love my florals. Also a big fan of multi colored diamante and dotted anything. I don't know what it is about dots, but just L - O - V - E them. My favorite colors are purple and the last couple years: Turquoiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiise! 

Read more about this card and the inspiration behind the Friendship begins in the Heart Paper Collection over on my personal blog here

For those of you who would like to join or Design Team, don't forget about the deadline for end of November. Let those auditions role in! For more info on the Design Team Call, click here

"My Friend" - Handmade card
Designed by Ansu for Ivytree Studio

A little mixed media fun: No heat tool required. Use a stencil and textured paste. Let dry. Add 3D glue to give a glossy effect. and let dry properly. Add some Tim Holtz distress inks in various colors, to your craft sheet. Spray with water and pick up with a piece of acetate and add randomly to your stenciled area.

Products used: 

  • Anita's 3D glue,
  • Tim Holtz distress mini's - various colors
  • Cat's eye inkies in various colors
  • Multi color diamante strips
  • Pearls
  • Purple dotted ribbon
  • Scrapbook Craft glue and double sided tape
  • Paper roses bought at Jimnettes in Pretoria...they have a lovely range available always. 

Last but not least:
Ivytree Studio's latest collection "Friendship begins in the heart" #162/4,8,12,13  and #162/6 or 9 for the roled rosies and leaves cut from #162/15 (flower cut page)
Ivytree Elements White Cardstock 240gsm #161/39

Visit our store at to view or purchase the collection.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Ivytree Studio Design Team Call 2016/2017!

Dear Paper Lovers,

At the beginning of this year two artsy sisters ventured out into the deep waters of entrepreneurship, putting their art out there in a big and scary world in the form of paper, scrapbook paper. Pretty patterned and lovingly designed paper to reach the scrapbookers and paper crafters of our beloved country, South Africa. Well, not an easy task, but so rewarding and absolutely worth every sleepless night.

Since the start of this year, we created our own website, Facebook page and social marketing vehicles with the smallest budget ever known to mankind. You would laugh if you knew how small. But none the less, here we are...several months into it with two paper collections already out in the world.

Every time a little package goes out, we are thrilled with excitement. Every time we see someone using our paper in their scrapbooking or crafting, our hearts skip a beat. We just love what we do.

We love it so much that we want to focus on doing just that. Creating the paper you create with. So, without much further ado, we would like to announce our very first Design Team Call for 2016/2017. Another big step for us.

Go to our website for all the relevant information by clicking here.

If you love paper, if you design your own layouts and blog about it and share to Facebook frequently and if you love memory-keeping, paper crafting and photography, you might just be the person we are looking for. This Design Team call is basically for layout designers who create and sell kits or just like to blog about their crafting experiences. We would love to see your process and so if you like doing process video's that would be a plus but  not a requirement.

In return you will always receive our paper when we bring out new collections and receive promotion on our website, Facebook page, blog, Instagram and various social media sites. The idea is marketing our paper and your creativity together as well as linking everything to all the various sites.

The deadline for the auditions is the end of November 2016 and the term for the design team is 6 months (January - June 2017).

For any inquiries, contact us here.

We look forward to receiving your auditions and having you possibly on our team.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

It's out! Another new collection just in time for Spring

Hi there paper lovers,

The double page layout for the Pretoria Scrapbook Society's Coming out party 
and the launch of our 'Friendship begins in the Heart' Collection - 
10 September 2016

I don't know about you, but life gets real busy when you try to grow a new business. Crazy busy, but that is a good thing, right? Since our last post in April, so much has happened. Seasons change and you realize, as life goes buy, that it is important to take note of the simple shifts in the seasons. One moment you are in a long and cold winter and slowly but surely the weather changes and you find yourself in a totally fresh and new "season". Not just in terms of weather, which I love. I can never wait to ware my summer clothing again. :) But also spiritually as well as physically. So, despite the challenges of "winter" times, we can count on God always changing the seasons and letting us move forward into new things and times. So, thankful for that.

Even though I love blogging, it has been last on my list of priorities. Nonetheless, here it is. Another post. Just to walk in the new fresh flowery season (Sneezing! Pollen season! Oh, my!) and our latest collection, Friendship begins in the heart.

We launched our latest collection at the Pretoria Scrapbook Society's first (hopefully annual) charity event on the 10th of September at the Farm Inn in Pretoria.

Click here to buy this collection.

It was a small event, but we loved every minute of it. Hard work to put any event together especially if you are as detailed as I am. Some challenges came along as they always do when you attempt to organize events. At first I was just to coordinate the event, then things changed on me and I had to also teach at the same event, meanwhile launching our second collection.

Best husband in the world! Henry, you are my ever present support! A super-dooper logistics manager. 
This girl to the right represents the true meaning of "Friendship begins in the Heart".
She has such a big and serving heart and I am so proud to be called her sister.
Surita, not just a fabulous artists but the "bestest bestie" in the world.
Can't think of a better partner. 

Luckily I am blessed with a wonderful team and everyone pulled together to make this all happen. I can just give God all the glory for this, for at times I considered getting on a jet-plane and fly off to an exotic island to stay for life. :) We all worked hard, but if was worth it. We learned so much from this little event and as always every experience, gives you more experience for the next one. Back to our main job of designing pretty paper again. :)

Our paper was received well at the event and the orders have started to flow in. Hopefully they will keep on flowing as word spreads to all the retailers. If you haven't been able to find some Ivytree Studio paper at your local retailer, make sure to let them know about our paper collections and to contact us for Retail registration.

Linda King form Kraft King - The second sponsor for the event, also a teacher and organizing team-member.
Thank you for all your hard work and your wonderful attitude throughout.
Krafty King is also one of the Ivytree Studio's registered retailers. 

Some of the lady's at the PSS event, scrapping away.

"Friends" Single page layout using the Base Element page from the new collection.
Flowers made with the Cute Cuts Flower page. Tags also from the new collection.
Accent and sewing elements cut with Silhouette cameo from our 240gsm white cardstock.

Back to work on our next collection coming soon. In the meantime, if you want to get your hands on our new collection, pop on over to our online store where we have loaded it for the general public as well as for registered retailers

Have a happy and full Spring and Summer season ahead. Remember to make memories and then scrapbook them.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Just love the feel of new paper!

Hi there, paper lovers!

The winter chills are upon us here in sunny South Africa! 

Despite the colder weather, we are hard at work in our little studio.

Don't you just love it when you have slaved away on a new idea or piece of work. Toiled and toiled. Lost sleep because you worked your way past late nights and early mornings. Creating and creating and at last one fine day you hold your end result in your hands. Well, this is how we feel today over here at Ivytree Studio.

After months of hard work, we finally hold our Hadeda Garden Collection in the palm of our hands. We can physically touch what we designed digitally. What a great feeling. If you are a paper lover like me, you just cannot withstand the excitement of new paper, pretty colors and ideas start to bloom in your mind of what you want to do with it.

Now the great CREATE begins! We will be featuring some handmade paper designs in the coming days. We hope to inspire you and give you fresh new ideas or revamp a couple of old ones. So come back and visit our blog to see what we are up to.

You can also start to order and buy this new paper collection directly from our online store. Shipping is also set up with Fastway courier's door to door service.

To encourage you to keep on visiting and supporting our Proudly South African store and products, we want to announce that we will be adding other product ranges to our store as well and it will include things like stencils and Silhouette cutting bundles that fit the paper ranges we bring out. With it we will have freeby days where we will be blessing some of our loyal customers with some lovey stuff.

Tell your friends and start shopping, people!

To share our excitement, here is the first of many images on the new paper collection. Hope you like it.

Please leave us some love and comments on this post. We would love to hear from you. You can even give us your bucket lists on what types of designs you would like to see us use this paper with. I'm thinking scrapbook layouts, project life layouts, card designs, home decor ideas and so on and so on .... ;)

For more info on this product, please contact us here.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mona Lisa's smile took time!

Dear paper lovers,

Our very first and brand new paper collection is in its final stages before the big launch. You will only be able to buy it, once the price is loaded in the shop. This will happen soon.

As it is with all things art and creative, it has its own time. The process of design is a back and forth of deciding on just the right color and sourcing the exact right paper for the design. What we learn in this process is valuable and shapes what we will keep doing in the future. For us, quality and doing it right, is just as important as the creative art behind it all. Excellence is our motto!

But it requires on big thing: PATIENCE! Oh, and don't we all just struggle with this concept. I know I do. In my nature I want to make art that is current and new and quick so I can see immediate results, but true art takes time and this pushes my limits so I can grow and I am perfectly fine with it.

The other day I watched a National Geographic show on DSTV about Leonardo Davinci's process painting the Mona Lisa. Wow, what a painstakingly detailed process that required immense patience. He would add a little pigment of color to oil and layer it on to her, one layer at a time. A very clever Frenchman recently designed a special camera to be able to capture all these layers to show us just what this process looked like. Davinci is known for this process and this is his outstanding accomplishment. No one has ever been able to really duplicate it. So, it is all worth it.

What I took from this is, is be true to your own self and the process you feel you need to follow when creating something that is unique to you. In the end, that adds diversity to the world out there. People want what is new and fresh, but I also think they want the story behind it and they want it to be different. To get to different, we need to keep on keeping on. Do the work, Follow trends and create your own trend. Bring different to the table. Well, this may just take some time. So, in order for us to bring you our new paper collection, a truly South African product, locally produced, we need to put in the work it will take and that is exactly what we are doing.

So, maybe we wont be able to launch it just yet, but we are close, so very close.

We have a couple of things in the making, that we hope you fellow paper lovers out there will like and be able to use in your own art journey.

In the meantime, while you await our reveals, you are welcome to write to us and share your wish list in terms of what you feel is lacking in our local artsy and paper/memory-keeping/scrapbooking market. What is it that we wished we could get our hands on locally? I personally don't want the stuff I see online that come from other countries. I want what is local and will represent my culture and kind. So, let us know what it is you would like to see in terms of paper design and products to accompany it. We may just work it into our own design process and give you the products you dream of.

PS: if you view our paper collection online on our website, you may later notice that we are moving towards a more pinkish/blueish color-scheme than the orange/greenish colors you may see in the current images we shared online. The process of getting what you see on your computer screen to come out exactly in the printing of the final product, is causing us to tinker with it a little more to get it closer to the intended color-scheme. We plan to update the images as soon as we are ready. 

In the next post, I will share with you more about the color-scheme and where and when you can place orders for this collection.

Also look out for our post on Archival friendly Paper for your memory-keeping.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Paper lovers,in the mood for something new?

Hello there to all the paper lovers out there!

A little birdie flew through our window today and told us to spread the word!

I am so excited about what is going on in our little design studio. Working hard on our first paper collection and it is almost perfect. Just a couple of finishing touches before we launch it.

I was thinking that maybe you would like a little sneak preview of what will be in this new collection.

We are calling it the "Hadeda Garden Collection". It consists of 30 double sided sheets with 15 various designs in 4 different color combinations on 12"x12", 160gm cardstock.

....and as if that's not enough, we are adding two double sided sheets of pretty pocket cards...

...oh, and as an extra bonus, we are also adding two, yes TWO sheets of element stickers!

This is the cover page:

Here is a little sampler of the finished product:

So, if any of you lovely paper fanatics are interested in our product, drop us a note. You can go to our website and complete the contact form or send us an email.

Can't wait to share the Hadeda Garden Collection with the world!

Keep coming back to see what's new.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Something new on the horizon

Hi there friends,

If you are a scrapbooker, paper lover, card maker, retailer or wholesaler, this blog is for you.

If you love anything that includes art, design, creativity and color, this blog is for you.

If you love to see things develop and grow, this blog is for you.

If you are South African and love to see proudly South African products by proud South Africans, this blog is for you.

So watch this space, because great and wonderful artsy things are on the way....

This little birdie will keep you posted ....