How to Create a Blurb Book to Showcase Your Work

Posted on June 14, 2017 by Bari Ackerman | 0 Comments

Showcase Your Work with a Blurb Book (by Bari J.)
This post is for all of you creative types! I don't know about you, but I've forever had on my list of to-dos to create a few printed materials to better display my work when presenting to clients as well as press. I've also had a book proposal on my list forever and a day. While I have tons of content, I never knew just how I would print such a piece. Enter: Blurb Books.
Bari J. Blurb Book Press Kit
I had used Blurb before for hard cover portfolio books that I brought to trade shows, but I didn't realize that they had this magazine style option. For what I needed, I felt the magazine format was absolutely perfect. And while it took me some time getting creative to get the exact look I wanted, I ended up with a piece that I can use for all of the purposes that I stated.
Bari J. Blurb Book Press Kit
Bari J. Blurb Book Press KitI printed up my initial version and I'm simply astounded at how well it turned out. I chose the Premium Magazine style with 80# 118 paper printed with a matte finish. I loved that you can do anywhere from 20 to 240 pages because for what I needed first, I only used 24 pages. But I have plans to do many, many more pages in other versions. I can also use what I already have and just build on it, and change out pages for the different end users.
I used the Adobe InDesign Blurb Plug-in to create and upload my magazine but there are other options as well that Blurb offers. While inDesign has a bit of a learning curve, the instructions that Blurb provides to get started and then upload your designs is super clear and easy to do. I highly recommend taking the time to get to know the ins and outs of InDesign.
I've used Photoshop and Illustrator in the past for creating pages for other publications, and the truth is that InDesign was made specifically for publishing. You really can't get better features.
Bari J. Studio
I received my magazine about 7 days after I placed my order and I was blown away by the quality. I simply cannot stop looking at it. 
Bari J. Blurb Book Press Kit
It took me about 5 days to create my 24 pages plus cover and back cover. And then uploading and sending to print was a breeze.
I recommend a few things to keep organized, on task and create the best book or magazine possible:
1. Create a vision board on Pinterest for your project... or even a (gasp!) analog vision board to get you inspired and motivated. This will give you a good idea of how to layout your pages. I went for a Maximalist look heavy in graphics and overlays and color, naturally. 
2. Before you get started on InDesign, gather all of the elements that you are going to use on your computer, make copies of them, and put them in one folder with your project title. InDesign requires that your links for photos etc are connected to a findable file, and this makes it much easier. Make sure all of your jpgs are hi resolution. But InDesign will definitely give you a warning when you go to upload if they are not.
3. Some pages will have so many elements that it is hard to keep track of them. It's helpful in this case, to create a page with all of your pieces (be it photos, type, overlaid graphics etc.) in Photoshop and save it as a jpg that you can then bring into InDesign. That way your document won't be so heavy that when it comes time to save it, you struggle. The only drawback of doing it this way, is that you might have to go back and tweak things in the original file in Photoshop rather than tweaking directly in InDesign.
4. Save your file often! These pieces are usually very graphics heavy. You want to make sure that if your system crashes (hopefully not!) you have everything saved. I save after most changes to my document.
Bari J. Blurb Book Press Kit
That's really it. I'm SO incredibly happy that I did this, I'm making copies to send to manufacturers and press, and I'm now ready to start the visual end of my already written book proposal! 
I'd love to know what kind of book/magazine you might like to produce... and keep in mind... you can actually SELL your book on the Blurb platform as well as Amazon, through Ingram (a major distributor used through thousands of books stores) or in the Apple iBooks store. It's truly amazing! 
You can also order a swatch kit to see samples of all of Blurb's paper options before ordering your book.
And when you order a kit for $7.95, you'll get a promo code that lets you apply the cost of the kit toward your book.
This post is sponsored by Blurb, but I gotta tell you, I've used Blurb in the past, and they are the first self publisher I would think of to do something like this. I was so incredibly pleased with how my magazine turned out. I'd highly recommend Blurb... sponsorship or not! 
Bari J. Blurb Books Press Kit

What to Sew for Your Kids Now!

Posted on May 24, 2017 by Laurel Richmond | 0 Comments

What to Sew for Your Kids Now!Hi! This is Abbey and Laurel and we are going to be taking over Bari's blog for a few posts to show some of our favorite makes with "Joie de Vivre" and "Sage" fabric collections. First of all some quick introductions. We are both SAHMs who are obsessed with sewing adorable clothes for our littles (Abbey has 4 and Laurel has 2). We love using the best fabric with the amazing designs for our sewing which is why we love Art Gallery Fabric and Bari's collections. You can find Laurel on instagram @sewingchrysanthemum and Abbey @abbeymbutton 

For this blog post we are going to be featuring Yuma Lemons Mist in Knit from Bari's "Sage" collection.

Lemon season in Arizona is December through April so this fabric was perfectly timed for these lemonade loving girls. Bari did an amazing job designing this fabric to convey the essence of lemon season in Arizona. This fabric just screams lemonade stand but since we didn't have one of those we used the next best thing for our background-a lemon tree. Funny story about this tree, even though Arizona has tons of lemon trees not many by us are small enough to serve as a good background. When I (Laurel) saw this tree I knew it would be perfect, the only problem was it belonged to a perfect stranger. Luckily when asked that stranger agreed to let us take pictures in his yard. I mean who could say no to two adorable girls dressed in lemon fabric?!?

Art Gallery knit is so amazingly soft and a dream to wear when sewn up so to say these girls love their skirts is an understatement! Being moms with littles having patterns that are quick sew is a must! That's why we love the Take 5 pattern from Little Lizard King. It literally takes longer to cut then it does to sew especially if you don't hem (which is one of the best parts of sewing with knits)!

The other pattern used is Little Lizard King's Perfect 10 shirt. This shirt has many adorable options, has a fantastic fit and was perfect for including some of the Yuma Lemons Mist for some pops of color.

Lemon embroidery file can be found here.

We really appreciate Bari for letting us take over her blog and hope you enjoy this fabric as much as we do!

Posted in Art Gallery Fabrics, Fabric, Garments, Patterns, Sage

Find Your Inner Maximalist with Wallpaper and Murals

Posted on April 18, 2017 by Bari Ackerman | 1 Comment

By now, you know about my love affair with color and pattern, and that is why I've painted most of the walls in our house a bright white. That might seem counterintuitive, but there's a method to my madness. I figure that if most of the space is white, I can do as I please on a wall or two here and there and go wild with textiles and rugs. That's part of what I mean when I say "Curated Maximalism". It's not all the stuff all the time, but rather where it will create the most impact. There are two walls in the house that are painted a dark navy blue (pretty neutral but it adds a pop). The nice thing about wallpaper and murals these days, is most brands have a peel and stick option... that means when you go to sell your house and your realtor says, "ummm, well, you know, home buyers like neutral," you can just peel off the wallpaper. And if you have commitment issues, it's no big deal either. I, of course, encourage you to go for it either way. Wallpapers and murals can add so much personality and fun to a space. Below are , as well as some wonderful rooms I found on Pinterest.
In my studio this weekend, we put up this mural which is actually a blow up of one of my earlier paintings from Murals Your Way.
Bari J. mural for Murals Your Way
Bari J. Mural for Murals Your Way
Garden at Midnight Mural by Bari J. for Murals Your Way
In this room by Classy Clutter, they used another Bari J. mural for Murals Your Way to add drama to a wall of this office in a converted garage space. I'm in love with how all of the colors work together in this room. And, as always, leopard print goes with absolutely everything.
Bari J. For Murals Your Wall via Classy Clutter
Below, is another Bari J. mural that Classy Clutter put up in a children's room.
Bari J. Fox in the Garden Mural for Murals Your Way
I'm absolutely in love with these spaces that I found on Pinterest as well. You can find links to all of them here. You'll notice in many of these spaces, the color and pattern is again against bright white. 
Maximalist Walls
Maximalist WallpaperMaximalist Wallpaper
I LOVE this use of wallpaper on the ceiling. And the color pop in the hallway leading to a bright white room with a little more pattern and color going on ... le sigh! 
Be sure to check out more incredible Maximalist rooms and spaces here.

Sage Inspiration

Posted on February 02, 2017 by Alexis Wright | 2 Comments

Hello all, I'm Alexis (Find me on IG @myysweetsunshine ) and I get to take over Bari's blog for today! So who am I? I think that is a question for the ages! Kidding.  First, I am a full time Momma of 2, Logan and Taylor. I am also a full time seamstress and designer for Violette Field Threads.  Before I started working with VFT I was an Etsy Shop Owner of My Sweet Sunshine. I have been a HUGE fan and follower of Bari since my early days of running my shop.  I always wanted to use the best (her's of course) fabric for my creations. I used Bari's Emmy Grace, Budquette Nightfall and LillyBelle's Garden Rocket for so many of my dresses and skirts. She always knows how to bring Maximalist and boho together in her collections. It is one of my favorite things about her style. 

Bari just released her lastest fabric collection with Art Gallery Fabric called, Sage.  This Fabric collection is infused with the beauty of Arizona. This is true Bari style, Sage is full of vibrant colors and Maximalist prints.  The Cacti and Lemon prints are ON POINT and the GRAND florals are polished boho chic! 

I started sewing for the blog post right after Christmas and my daughter and I decided that she needed more winter to spring clothes. So what better way to fill up her closet but tons of prints from Sage! Are you ready for this? I made her 4 (plus 2 I made for the Lookbook) garments using 5 different prints. Most of them are tops because she is a crazy preteen that prefers tops and pants to dresses. BUT, I got one dress in there- HA! Mom still wins (a little). Blahahahahaha 

We decided to make a day out of our photoshoot so we jumped in the car and headed down to San Diego's Balboa Park. This place is so beautiful and makes for a beautiful background.

Enough chatting, let's get this party started...

Look 1

Fabric: Bougainvillea in Evergreen and Prickly Pear in Indigo

(Pattern used for Look 1- Violette Field Threads Pepper Tween)

Look  2

Fabric: Baja  Weave in Mauve

(Pattern used for Look 2- Violette Field Threads Matilda Tween-modified)

Look 3

Fabric:Bougainvillea in Evergreen

 (Pattern used for Look 3- Violette Field Threads Julianna Dress)

Look 4

Fabric: Coyote and Quail in Lavender

Did you notice the special coloring book in those photos? Have you already grabbed a copy of Bari's Make Something Beautiful for yourself? If you have not, check it out HERE. They make for great gifts!! This one is heading to a very special friend who is battling Breast Cancer. 

 (Pattern used for Look 4- Violette Field Threads Matilda Tween-modified)

I also made 2 "looks" for Art Gallery Fabrics Sage Lookbook. Here is one photo...

Fabric used:

Dress 1-Painted Desert Night in Voile with  Sunswept Canyon Sage

Dress 2- Yuma Lemons Glare, Saguaro Crest Olive, Bougainvillea Lilac 

If you want to see more go check out the full  Sage lookbook. Just be careful you may find yourself falling head over heels for all the beautiful creations! I about died over that Quilt!

Thank you for taking the time to read the blog. I hope I could provide some inspiration and really had fun sharing my love of Sage!!  Thank you so much Bari!!




Posted in Alexis, Art Gallery Fabrics, Fabric, Garments, lookbook, Patterns, Sage, Violette


Posted on February 01, 2017 by Bari Ackerman | 0 Comments

Bari J. free downloadable calendarYou may or may not know my story... about how I started designing fabric and art for products. I've told it many times, really. But more or less? I decided I was going to. And I had no bloody idea how that was going to happen. Truth. I decided I was going to do it, and moreover, I said out loud that I was going to do it in a blog post way back in 2008.

This year, I'm embarking on a new goal... a dream I've also had for a long time. Last month I told newsletter subscribers that I intend to write and sell to a publisher a book about my signature style, Curated Maximalism. I do have somewhat of an idea how I'll do it this time around, but it's not like I sit around writing design books all the time or anything. I just know for a fact that I can do it. I know what it will look like, and I am confident I can do it. However, saying it aloud? That forces the issue.

If you get my newsletter, you know that I've been asking folks to share their dreams for 2017. I truly believe that stating your intentions in some public way will help you get to your goals. That could be because if you've said it, now you HAVE to do it... and it could just be the way the world works... say what you want, and somehow that thing will come to you. It's not magic though. It's setting intentions.

That said, I hope you will play along over on Instagram. Tell us what your dream is with a photo and tag it #dreamsomethingbeautiful17. I (and the other participating) will be there for you and encourage you along the way. Keep posting and tagging with your progress and updates!

Make this the year you do that thing you've been dreaming of!

To get the Bari J. monthly calendars and free screensavers as well, subscribe here.

Seven Tips for Pro Shelf Styling

Posted on January 11, 2017 by Bari Ackerman | 1 Comment

Bari J. Home {Shelf Styling}

I have a lot of fun styling anything, but I particularly love styling shelves. Shelving can make a big impact in your home and it gives you a spot to display collections. I don't love collections willy nilly spread about my home, but I do love them together where they'll have meaning and impact.

Around my home, I was finding that I had a plethora of pitchers and urns/vases in white. There's even more on the top shelf not pictured here. I also have cutting/cheese boards galore. I have a real thing for them. I pick them up everywhere and bring them home. So I decided in this display I would use them. Here's a few tips for how I pull it all together.

1. Pick a color scheme. I picked white and wood.

2. Find a shape of an object that can be repeated throughout your display. Here you see the urn shape, the pitcher shape and rectangles. 

3. Find like items that may vary in scale or shape. The pitchers and urns are all different sizes, and I've added one wood cutting board that is round for variation on the theme.

4. Follow the rule of thirds. Things look better displayed in odd numbers. You'll notice on the second shelf where I have two pitchers and two cutting boards I added a very small wood bowl underneath the cutting boards to balance out the shelf. Note: It's wood. And white would have worked as well. 

5. Vary heights. See on the bottom shelf how the pitcher and the urn are really about the same height. To fix that I added the white plates underneath. This would have worked with some books as well. And I may have turned the books paper side out instead of the spine to use the white as opposed to whatever book color I was using.

6. Add little pops of color. Yesterday I purchased some flowers, so I filled one of the vases with those. There's some orange in there, so I put the tangerines in the bowl below to repeat that theme. I also added two plants to the display. Note, the objects below are wood and there's another urn shape. The little salt and pepper shakers seemed like a nice balance there as well and added a tiny bit of color.

7. Fill "bonus" spaces if necessary using color or shape repetitions. This bit depends on your own space. Sometimes if you do this it will look like clutter... here it was necessary. On the left side of my shelves there's this small cut out that goes further back. We have zero idea why it's there, and it looked a little odd, so I had my husband hang the shelves justified to the right. My thinking was I could make that space look intentional or have some interest. Then there's the wall to the left. Lord knows I couldn't leave that blank. More is more, yo! There I decided to repeat the round shape of that one cheese board. I simply put my newest fabric line, Sage, in five embroidery hoops and hung them. The hoops go all the way up the wall to look like an intentional collection.

Side note... the wall outside the actual display...

Bari J. shelf styling

This wall seems very much a part of this display since it is right next to it. You visually can't avoid this wall. Here I have a collection of mirrors in wood frames. The don't add too much extra color but they do have a little pop. Mirrors help add light and dimension to a space. Ironically, the area with the shelves used to have full mirrors glued on the walls. It was totes 1970 in here. I insisted those suckers get removed. Lived with them for five years and then BEGGED the sweet hub to remove them.


Five Tips to Easily Update Your Decor

Posted on January 09, 2017 by Bari Ackerman | 1 Comment

Five Tips For Easily Updating Your DecorDecorating to me is a creative outlet. And once I decorate a room and love it, I often get bored and decide I want to change it. That can get pretty pricey if you're not careful. So, over the years I've looked for ways to manage my Maximalist Moodiness. Here are my five top suggestions for easily changing out your decor:

1. Start with a neutral palette. I like to keep most of my walls white except for a few feature walls throughout the house. I keep patterned walls to places where they can be the focal point: bedrooms, bathrooms etc. Because I like to change the main room of our home so much, that's not the place I invest time or money on wallpapers etc.

2. Pick classic neutral furniture. Your large pieces are the big investments. That's why I like to go with white or neutral leather and pretty classic shapes. I also like slipcovered furniture for the same reason. Small chairs are great places to go a little crazy with the color and pattern as long as you are aware you might decide to move on from that look and can live with that decision.

3. If possible, start with hard tile or wood flooring and layer on top of it. You can even layer area rugs on top of neutral carpet if you can't change your flooring. Luckily these days there are pretty inexpensive rug solutions. And that's a good thing, because, indeed I do love a statement rug. I do get concerned about waste in landfills. Over the span of our 23 year marriage, I've only tossed one or two rugs... and I've given a few away. I DO rotate rugs around however. Maybe today the hot pink rug will go in the Living Room (I just ordered the one from Joss and Main pictured here), and maybe in a year I'll drag it into the bedroom. That's the great thing about starting with neutral palettes... accessory rotation is easy.

4. If you can, sew your own pillows and throws (or knit/crochet). Textiles are the number one thing I change out often. Being that I design fabric, it's obviously easier for me to do, but truly textiles are the easiest and least expensive way to change up decor. I also have a mom and sisters who love that I do this often, because that means they end up with some barely used pillows and such.

5. Get down pillow inserts on the cheap by going to places like Home Goods. Here's the secret... some of the ugly pillows at Home Goods have nice heavy down inserts. If you can find some that are the same size etc, buy that ugly pillow and remove/replace the cover with something fantastic of your own making. (Note: Be sure to check that there's an opening on the pillow cover you purchase... you don't want to accidentally grab one that doesn't have a form inside but is stuffed.) Now. If you do not know how to sew... I'm just gonna say it... learn. Come on, I know you can do it! Pillows are the easiest thing on the planet to make next to placemats and napkins. And there are tutorials out the ying yang on this fine internet of ours. Also, for pillow making you can use an inexpensive new or used sewing machine. So, there's really no excuse for not making your own. Don't get huffy with me. I promise. It takes very little skill and effort.

Sources and Credits:

Hot pink rug: Joss and Main

Pouf: World Market

Pillows: Urban Outfitters (dude. Make these)

Fabrics: Bari J. Sage fabrics for Art Gallery Fabrics

Sofa and Chair: Restoration Hardware

Afghan: Anthropologie (I can't crochet. Truth. But maybe you can? I CAN make a mean quilt however.)

Bee Hive Fireplace: From the home of Aedriel Moxley 

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