A small (but smart) business idea for small businesses …


We wanted a nicer way to send a receipt to our www.alecarte.com customers than just a printed A4 sheet, and hit on the idea of designing and printing a postcard that we can include with each sale, with a hand written, individual message on the back.

I designed the cards – stencilling, painting and then digitally adjusting the colours – and then got them printed through RedBubble, where I sell prints of my work in a multitude of formats. (Now including throw cushions …)

The cards arrived today, and we are really pleased. There are a couple more colours than featured in the photo, and they are all eye-catching. The sort of thing that customers will be able to find easily if they are looking through their paperwork to see who they bought that wonderful picture from. It’s the business idea that keeps on giving, because in addition to featuring the alecarte.com URL on the front the back also has a URL for RedBubble, so people can find more of my work that way too. We can use the cards in other ways than for receipts – they could stand in as a large business card or compliments slip.

So there you are – my free gift to you today is a suggestion you might be able to adapt for your own purposes! Hope it helps!!

(If you wanted to recommend my proofreading/editing services in return, please feel free!)

Innovations abound


As regular readers of this blog will know, I am developing several lines of interest that I never had time to focus on when I was working full time. As well as writing I am pursuing my visual artistic interests, and I’m enjoying my watercolour painting and photography.

While I mostly work for pleasure and interest, I am obviously happy to sell when I can, and my two main online outlets are our own website www.alecarte.com and my MagsArt shop on Redbubble  The image above is one of mine.

I hadn’t heard of Redbubble until I came across them earlier this year, and they are a very interesting set up. They work by giving artists a space where they can upload their images, and then customers can choose to have the image printed on a wide range of products. I have bought some myself, to test the quality and I must say I am very pleased. The cards are lovely, and the semi-gloss posters are really vibrant.  They come beautifully packed too.

Well, most of the above I have mentioned in other blogs, but I thought I’d tell you about the new product they have just introduced, which is printing on metal. To quote: “Imagine an artwork softly floating on your wall, with a print of the utmost detail and clarity and a luminescence beyond equal and you’re someway to imagining our metal prints.”  Wow.  Have a look at their explanation for more detail. It’s not cheap – I don’t expect you thought it would be – but I think the right image in the right setting would look stunning on metal. Perhaps it’s best suited to a really modern home, a restaurant or other business.

It’ll be interesting to see how it takes off.

By the way, I have an article on Developing your eye for Photography online at the moment – my first. 264 likes so far, and counting.



Floating away in a Red Bubble!

Just a quick post this time, to make sure you have heard of Red Bubble.

It’s a relatively new site to me, as I posted my first work there just about a month ago, but I really am enjoying it.

Regular readers will know that I have been relishing the extra time available to me since I moved to Clevedon and I have been busy making things.  I still knit, for my own entertainment and pleasure, I write (as you can see from this blog) but mostly I paint and take photographs.  Original paintings are sold through our new website www.alecarte.com, where I also blog on things artistic.  I also use Picassa to manage my photographs and scanned paintings and to edit them as I wish.

However – Red Bubble is a revelation to me.  This company has international reach, and they manage the manfacture, and admin including shipping for the artist.  They produce many more products than a small team can manage, and can supply prints in a variety of formats, greetings cards, smartphone cases, tablet cases, printed t-shirts and hoodies and calendars.  I have great plans for my first calendar.  Guess what the family will be getting next Christmas!

All the artist has to do is upload their files, and say what percentage markup they want added to the basic costs.  This means that although I’ll earn less per item I have no head-aches about managing the selling and shipping items when I am on holiday, and more time to enjoy creating.

If you aren’t keen on my work, there is a huge variety of other styles at www.redbubble.com so do have a look.  And tell your friends!