The Design Coyote New Year Sale!


New Year post is a-coming, but for now, THIS!


QUICK SALE! For ONE MONTH ONLY I will be selling basic WordPress designs for $300 and basic Blogger designs for $200! Basic design includes header, 2 or 3 columns, footer, and background in a traditional blog format (not full website).

Examples of basic WordPress Blog Design ($300):

wp-design01 wp-design02 wp-design03

Examples of basic Blogger Blog Design ($200):

blogger-design01 blogger-design02 blogger-design03

More Details

Turn-around time is 2-4 weeks and will include an email consultation with contract, 1 initial flat image proof, 1 revision, and coding. Logo creation not included, nor custom illustrations. You need to have self-hosted WordPress or Blogger account already set up (or I can install WordPress for you for $50). Price is a flat fee to be paid 1/2 up front, 1/2 upon development of theme. Sale ends February 14th.

To get in on this, fill out this quote request form with all your information (ignore the pricing info), choose WordPress or Blogger, and in the “Referred By” box, please put NEW YEAR SALE so I know you’re taking part. That’s it!

Please share with your friends! This is a great way to get a quick, simple, but branded look for your blog!

Happy New Year, friends!

I’m just going to say it. I want to go to SXSW Interactive this year. No. I really really REALLY want to go to SXSW Interactive this year. I was fortunate enough that last year I was able to attend through my day job, and I met so many amazing people and learned SO MUCH. So much that I’m pretty positive that I learned more in 5 days at SXSWi than I did in my 4.5 years of college. I thought for sure I would be going again this year, but it looks like if that’s going to happen, I’ll need your help. So I’ve come up with a deal for all of my awesome readers, family, and friends.

The SXSWi Snailbird Proposal

If you help to send me to SXSWi, I promise you I will bring to you all the latest, greatest news and education from the most awesome conference ever hosted in Austin, Texas. I will create a separate SXSWi page where I will write up all my notes, post all my pictures, and share all the downloads, tweets (both on designcoyote and rescueanimals), and resources I find. I’m even going to create a special #hashtag for Twitter usage so all you have to do is follow it to see my SXSWi tweets.

Some of the sessions I hope to go to (which is also all the things you get to learn about as well!) include: Storytelling Beyond Words: New Forms of Journalism, Security and Privacy in Social Networks, Taking Your Brand Back from Your Customers, Voices Carry: Why Authentic Brand Voices Matter, Social Media Boundaries: Personal/Personnel Policy, The State of Social Marketing, The Promise and Pitfalls of Real-Time Marketing, Social Media in the Underground World of B2B, Epic Battle: Creativity vs. Discipline in Social, Sparking Real World Action with Social Media, How Comics Journalism is Saving Your Media, Can Gaming Make the World Better?, How to Raise Awareness Through Blogger Outreach, Tech Superwomen: Mentors and Mentees FTW, and oh so much more that are on my list but I don’t have room to post.

OH! And don’t forget I would totally take pictures and share notes from speakers like Kevin Smith and Joss Whedon. Because hell yes, you know you want to hear from the two of them.

We all love learning. And you already know that I love sharing knowledge – on here, on @designcoyote, on I Love Rescue Animals, and on @rescueanimals – so you know that I’m only going to be bring you the best quality and create a stellar resource for those of you who can’t make it to SXSWi yourself. This is your chance to be a part of SXSWi for just a small donation (and some fantastic incentives). I will be sharing a ton of resources for social media, sharing positive causes, utilizing the internet and social media to raise donations, and how to market yourselves online, as well as design tips I learn, the newest technology for artsy folks, and other great education resources.

There’s even an entire session devoted to social apps and charitable giving using social media and how philanthropy utilizing Twitter and Facebook is on the rise. There’s just so much good going on at SXSWi this year that I don’t want to miss it. And there’s so much that I can bring back and teach others. I feel that animal folks in particular would get a lot out of the sessions I want to go to because we work so hard to raise money online and social media has changed the way we’re able to share messages – whether it’s about finding a forever home for a stray dog or it’s asking for donations for a sick cat. This is all knowledge that needs to be shared to our community – it can help so much and I don’t think many animal folks know how invaluable SXSWi is to our cause.

How Much Will This Be?

I didn’t find out until today that I would have to come up with creative ways to get myself there, so the total amount of money I’m trying to raise is $950 – which is JUST the price of one SXSWi ticket. Since I live in Austin, all the lodging expenses are taken care of, and I’ll pay for my own food and goodies. I just need help getting the ticket.

What You Get For Helping!

Don’t worry. You won’t be walking away empty-handed either. Besides the shared knowledge of all I learn, you will also get an awesome incentive depending on what level you donate to. These are as follows:

$1-$15: Join the list of other donors on my SXSW page.*
$16-$29: The above and an individual shout-out on the designcoyote twitter (1,700+ followers).
$30-$49: The above and a pencil sketch of your pet/favorite animal (in The Family Menagerie style).
$50-$74: The above and the pencil sketch gets inked and colored with marker.
$75-$99: The above plus a 100×100 pixels digitally colored avatar of your choice (in TFM style), as well as a shout-out on the rescueanimals twitter (17,800+ followers).
$100-$199: Be included on the donors page, receive a twitter shout-out (on both), a sketch of a pet/favorite animal, and a 100×100 pixel digitally colored avatar, and 1 month of advertising on the blog*.
$200-$349: Mention on donors page and twitter accounts, marker-colored image of pet/favorite animal, 100×100 avatar, 2 months of advertising on the blog*.
$350-$474: The above AND a full-colored digital illustration of your choice.

$475: SPONSORSHIP LEVEL 1! You will have a large prominent THANK YOU at the top of the SXSWi resource page, thanks on both Twitter and Facebook (for both Snailbird and I Love Rescue Animals), PLUS 6 months of advertising on the blog and a full blog post thanking you on Snailbird*.
$950: SPONSORSHIP LEVEL 2! You will have a large prominent THANK YOU at the top of the SXSWi resource page, thanks on both Twitter and Facebook (for both Snailbird and I Love Rescue Animals), PLUS 12 months of advertising on the blog and a full blog post thanking you on Snailbird AND I Love Rescue Animals (and if you or your company has a blog, I will also write up a guest post about everything I learned because of your generosity that you can use on your website)*.

Interested in donating but looking for some other prize/incentive? Feel free to comment or email me and we can talk! I’m open to hearing your ideas.

*Being included on the donors page, as well as getting posted on Snailbird and I Love Rescue Animals websites, means getting your name and link seen by artsy folks, nature-lovers, and lots of animal advocates, pet bloggers, and other activists. Snailbrd gets on average 5,000 unique visitors a month with 80-90k hits a month. I Love Rescue Animals receives an average of 6,000 unique visitors a month and 100-150k hits a month.

ChipIn to the Send-Nikki-to-SXSWi Fund!

So you can all help keep track of where I am in donations, I’ve set up this nifty ChipIn that’s connected to my PayPal account. Once you donate, you will receive an email from me confirming the amount and the prizes you will receive. Just click on the ChipIn widget below to donate or go straight to the ChipIn page.

What If The Goal Isn’t Reached?

Good question. If I don’t receive the goal of $950** by March 9th, all of the donations will be fully refunded. That’s right, you’ll get all of your money back and I’ll just have to wait to go to SXSWi next year. If however, it IS funded, as soon as SXSWi is over (March 13th is the last day), I will begin work on all of your prizes. It’s a win-win situation (the very best kind)!

**Note the ChipIn has been lowered to $900 because I received $50 in donations outside the ChipIn. – Updated 3.5.12.

The Final Plea

I want to go to SXSWi so much. It was an incredible experience last year and I don’t want to miss out again. I learned so much, and I feel that this year will be even better. So for just one donation, you can help send me to this awesome conference full of great opportunities and in return you get to learn all that I learn and some (you know those incentives are pretty awesome). Pretty great deal, yeah?

So please please help, and share with your family and friends! I will be forever grateful to you and so very honored. Thank you! You guys rock!

Design Coyote Sneakpeak

I am currently doing a major rehaul of my design site Design Coyote and I thought I’d give you a sneak peak of of my changes so far. It’s not a big sneak peak, but it’s better than nothing right?

Yeah, I know you’re all dying in your seats. Here it is.

Design Coyote Sample

See? Not as big and impressive, but trust me, the new design and the new layout will be a huge improvement over the old-fashioned blog design I’ve got going over there. It’ll look snazzier, more professional, and of course will feature all the information you need to get yourself an artsy, creative design for your personal site.

Hopefully within the next few weeks, the new DC will go live. Cross you fingers!

Time Management for Freelancers

I am the first to tell you that when it comes to time management, I fail. Hard. I have never been able to manage my time wisely. I am an avid procrastinator (on homework and my own projects – great clients motivate me enough to get their designs done) and, what with Spring bringing lots of sunny weather, I find it hard to sit at my computer and focus on the screen. But with the coming of Summer and the economy on the rise again, I find myself with more and more projects to take care of. This means that I am at my computer more and more even on the sunniest days (much to the disappointment of my girlfriend – I miss you, baby!) so when I do go outside into the sun, my skin begins to melt off and the paleness of my skin blinds those within a three mile radius. Trust me, it’s not a pretty sight.

But persist I must, and therefore, I have come up with several tips to help myself focus on getting stuff done (giving me more free time to go outside and remind my family every once in awhile that I love them).

Click here to continue reading this article.

Preview and Possible Contest News

While working on a new WP theme for a client, I made a mock-up of a very fun and colorful theme. After going through it, we decided to scrap it and start with something else. However, I didn’t just want to throw the theme away considering someone else might like it, so I’m going to be adding it to my Design Coyote Premade Shop.

Here’s a preview:

Colorful Crayons Preview

Let me know if you’re interested. I’ll be putting it up soon, and if I get enough interest, I might run a small contest for someone to win this theme for free! That’s right – FREE. More information will be blogged about this later.

Also, anyone else feeling absolutely lost with Twitter down today? What do I do with my life when I can’t tweet about it?

Projects and a bit of Austin.

I haven’t been doing a lot of daily posting lately just because I’ve been so busy. Design Coyote has been taking up most of my time, as have a couple of projects I’ve been working on. One of them is a new site that Ash and I have started called Rescue Animals, which is a site to promote animal adoption and welfare, as well as create a link database of Animal Shelters and Breed Rescues across the country. We would both appreciate if you could all head over there and submit the websites of your local shelters/organizations so we can increase our lists. It’s going to be a great cause once it really starts rolling.

Other than that, tomorrow we leave for Austin. Today I’m going to spruce up my resume and print some copies of it out and work on my portfolio some more, so that once we’re down there, I have something to hand in to people. I’m also going to make a list of places that I want to stop by and take a look at. Ash is the same way. I’ll also get a hold of our Realtor and see if we can look at a couple of houses. I really hope everything works out.

Wish us luck!

Design Coyote!

Ladies and Gentlemen (and those in between sorts and those that are neither), I finally present to you, after many hours of labor and birth pains with no epidural (I’m a trooper), my brand new, precious baby.

Design Coyote

It is the Grand Opening of my new design site Design Coyote. Click on the banner to see the site, peruse the Premades Shop, or check out the freebies (which have been moved there permanently). You can fill out the request quote form to find out how much a custom design would be, and in my own navigation there is now a Hire Me? link that brings you to the site. I’ll still be making freebie themes and cross-posting them here, but they’ll be over there from now.

Please check it out and tell me what you think and if anything doesn’t work for you. I’d appreciate it. It seems to work on my end, but apparently the shop is being fickle. I’ll try and figure out what that’s about.

Go at it!

Design Poll Time!

The quick flash of a thunderstorm today did wonders to my soul. As did the two skeins of rainbow yarn, circular needles, and double pointed needles I got today while out in town. I also got a few art supplies and some used books. So now I’m busy knitting some rainbow colored fingerless hobo gloves and matching hat and then off to bigger projects I think. Like socks. Or a sweater. Who knows.

But all that aside, I have a quick poll for you all. I’m in the process of moving all my themes and my portfolio to their own website for many reasons, but I need help with the name. Coyote Designs has always been the first choice, but Coyote is taken, so here are my other options:

Or should I do something completely different? Comment and tell me what you think and why you chose it. I’d really appreciate any feedback I can get.

Now back to watching the Westminster Dog Show and knitting. We were supposed to head out for Austin, TX tomorrow but the trip has been put on hold since things have just been so busy here and we haven’t had a lot of time to prepare for it. I was hoping we’d be there to celebrate Valentine’s Day in one of our favorite places, but it looks like that too will be postponed (as will our trip to see Mac). Who knows what will happen though. Just have to wait and see.

So go on, answer the poll!