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The Inspired Wedding - New Book Sneak Peek

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Over the last few years, I’ve been lucky to work with Emma Arendoski as a vendor through her lovely wedding site, Emmaline Bride. During this time, I’ve gotten to know her a bit through our conversations and am always inspired by the mark she makes on the wedding industry. When I heard she was writing another bridal planning book, I knew it was going to be a beauty.

And boy, was I right! I’m thrilled to share a little peek into that new book, The Inspired Wedding: Seven Handcrafted Themes for Your Big Day, which just launched last month!  

While reading The Inspired Wedding it felt a little like being out to coffee with Emma herself.  Over a soy latte, she was there sharing pretty pictures and bits of inspiration. This book combines her signature conversational style with beautifully curated wedding photographs and handcrafted details to create a book that brimming with ideas. It's truly an honor to have one of my bridesmaid clutches included in this gem (p. 150).

Organized by different themes including Romantically Vintage, Urban Chic, Boho Style, and my favorite, Farmhouse Rustic, Emma offers more than just an overall vision but all the tips and details to pull it off. Honestly, while flipping through the pages, I couldn’t help but feel a pang of envy, wishing I had this book (or Emma for that matter) when planning my wedding ten years ago. Although we had a general concept for our country garden nuptials, not everything fit together. Sure, I can laugh about it now, but what I wouldn’t give for a second chance to change up those groomsmen's ties or offer a pretty handmade bridesmaid gift.

This is where The Inspired Wedding comes in, Emma artfully outlines various wedding themes and provides specific suggestions for details, including where to purchase featured items. I love her “Good to Know” section which includes tried and true advice any bride would be lucky to read.

Aren't these photographs gorgeous? Told you it's a gem! You can scoop up on your own copy of The Inspired Wedding here!

Autumn Inspiration

Monday, October 06, 2014

katie stoops photography

Autumn, the year's last loveliest smile. 

It's so pretty here in Oregon during the fall and this year the warmth is staying awhile. I'm always sad to see summer end, but then the leaves start to change and out comes the cardigan… I enjoy the crisp mornings and cozy evenings.  And, it's always a good reason to have another cup of coffee. I love the warm, gold inspiration. Here's a few of my favorites. 

seventy nine ideas
free computer download | cocorrina

DIY gold leaf pinecone garland | the sweetest occasion 
rebecca newport

More autumn inspiration: Autumn Pinterest Board

xo, allisa

New Pattern - Snap Card Case & Wallet

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Hooray! I've whipped up another pattern to share (see my previous clutch pattern here). It's one simple technique, two pretty projects -  double-duty patterns are my favorite to design and sew!  I'm sharing my snap wallet with interior pocket that could easily be carried as a clutch AND the little card case to stash your business cards or license. And since they’re a snap to make, you can whip them up for pretty gifts. The pattern includes 12 pages of instructions and printable templates.  I also throw in lots of sewing tips and links to supplies and resources. It's available here or in my shop for $8  

Buy Now

Or, of course, you can always just purchase the finished items in my shop too! 

snap wallet

snap card case

card case galore

functional & pretty with an interior pocket

From Wimpy to Wow - How I Grew My Pinterest Following

Monday, September 15, 2014

A few years ago, I looked to Pinterest as a handy way of bookmarking the dozens of kid's crafts and fun party ideas I had spent countless hours clicking through. 

Now I see it as THE number one marketing technique for my shop. Once I realized it was the largest source of traffic for both blog and Etsy shop I put a hold on pinning all those banana mummy treats, and instead focused on making my Pinterest Boards a platform to share my work. And it worked.

In just a few months, my Pinterest followers grew from a measly 300 to a whopping 30,000.

Here, I'd love to share with you just how I did it!  

Of course, there's the common advice like crafting a spiffy profile & writing excellent board titles which were also important success, but I won't go into those here. Instead, I'll focus on a few, very specific suggestions for my fellow creative entrepreneurs. 


I found that when I focused on my core audience (customers from my shop, Facebook, instagram) and their interests - which correlate with my brand, the follower count steadily increased. This means crafting a fine balance of what is authentically me & the interests of my audience base. For example, my shop focuses on my handmade creations in bold designs and bright colors, so my boards reflect these ( Color Me Happy, Design & Typography, Make Something).  I am also so thankful to be part of this wonderfully amazing creative community and seek to share other shops on my Lovely Handmade Finds board. 

Having a few different, targeted boards that my audience is interested really worked for me is that I can easily & authentically pin my own items onto these boards as well. This way, I'm not focused on a single Allisa Jacobs board :) 

While Pinterest is easily addicting, I actually don't spend too much time pinning away. Instead, I created a targeted strategy and stayed disciplined. In the initial push, I dedicated a set amount of time (10 minutes, morning & evening) to finding meaningful, high quality pins for my boards. And, just like a snowball, once the numbers start climbing, a little work goes a long way. Being diligent with pinning, consistently updating covers, editing pins, and connecting with others reaps big rewards. Once the numbers start increasing, over time and with a little love, they continue to grow! 

Do not pin everything or just anything. I realized that when I started weeding through pins and pinning only the very best images and ideas, my repins and followers skyrocketed. It's easy to pin a bunch of random stuff. Instead, I focus on super high quality, vertical images and avoid extra 'noise.' Sometimes, I find something really cool, but the image is poor or less than ideal so I save it instead to a private board. This allows me to bookmark the idea but keeps my pin stream from filling up with low quality images. 

As mentioned above, I found that spreading out the pins of my work gained more followers and a stronger base. I mean, some people might love my bags, but no one wants to see dozens of pins in a row of my cosmetic bags.  I learned this from Nordstrom. Not only do they pin select items they carry, but they also spotlight Etsy shops, inspirational quotes, and pretty images that "fit" with the message of their brand. 

A surefire way of losing pinterest followers? Start pinning dozens of your items or blog posts in quick succession. Trust me, not a good strategy. 

Hopefully these tips give you some ideas for your own Pinterest boards! 

Still looking for an extra boost? I've begun taking Pinterest advertising submissions, just send me a message with the subject : SUBMIT for consideration and rates.  
 allisa [dot] jacobs [at] gmail [dot ]com

Have your own Pinterest tips? I'd love to hear, post yours here. See you in the comments! 

Hand Lettering Tips and Inspiration

Friday, August 22, 2014

Loving all this beautiful lettering I see everywhere. Makes me think of my high school notebooks filled with my experimental handwriting and script. Random words, curlicues, block letter, shadowing, fancy cursive - pretty much everything except the assignment (it's a wonder I made it into the Honor Society ;)   I'm now seeing that all that time-wasting could've been put to good use had I kept with it!

I'm thinking of brushing up on my writing skills - would make my thank you notes a whole lot prettier …and maybe just maybe, I could create a piece of hand lettered wall art for our house. I've found a few bits of inspiration, like tips from Breezy Cheetah on how to fake grate handwriting and Melissa Esplin's tutorial on Lettering with Watercolors (photo above).   And the amazing Cocorrina shares some of her personal lettering tips along with dozens of pretty designs she's created.

A few artists with lettering I love: 
jasmine dowling
brim papery

coco mingo
coco mingo
alston wise

Ribbon Clutch Pattern

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

One of the aspects I love most about creating is coming up new patterns or my own way of making things. As I've mentioned before, I rarely cook with recipes and I don't sew with patterns. Sometimes it's a glorious failure, other times a happy success. And, when possible, I love to share the results with you!  That's why I'm thrilled to offer this new pattern for a Ribbon Bow Clutch Purse. It's one of my favorite bags and one that you can use in a variety of ways. And, depending on which type of materials you choose, it can go from a practical daytime bag to an evening clutch.  I'd love to say I use mine for sweet summer date nights, but in all honesty it's a pretty way to stash things during the day as I jet around town, taking the boys here and there. 

The bow also adds a nice touch and makes it easy to coordinate with wedding colors, making these bags perfect for DIY bridesmaid clutches.

This pattern is $5 and available as an instant download with the BEGINNING sewer in mind. 


• 7 printable pages with clear color photos and precise, step by step instructions
• my own tips and tricks for creating a high quality finished clutch
• resources and links 
• ideas for creating different versions and other projects. 

Buy Now

A few others versions: 

Pretty August Desktop Calendar

Friday, August 01, 2014

Hello, August! I'm looking forward to this month; a few more road trips and hoping to start a wall quilt while the boys are in vacation Bible school (more posts on that later ;)  One thing I've been trying to do this summer is to slow down and enjoy all the beauty right out my door. We're so lucky to live in an area with tall trees, wheat fields nearby, and wildflowers along the road. These pretty desktop calendars from Bonnie at Going Home to Roost remind me of those afternoons in the sun, (well the shade for me…) soaking in all the outside goodness. 

I love this monthly list calendar, I'm thinking of printing it out and writing one single goal for the day. Keeping with the theme of just being more mindful… How would you use it?