Behind the Scenes: The Making of Gifted Magazine

Hello lovelies! Before I do anything else I have to let you all know just how very much I appreciate the incredibly warm welcome you gave Gifted Magazine Monday (and Tuesday, Wednesday, and today too)! I am practically speechless with gratitude for your outpouring of support and kindness. Thank you all so SO much! Every single one of your comments means the world to me.

So I thought it would be fun today to do a little behind the scenes post on the making of Gifted Magazine. The idea for Gifted came to me in a flash as I was driving to my parent’s home one afternoon a few months ago. Little did I know what I was getting myself into (the good, great and sticky of it).

{the binder that each page went into as it was designed – numbered and organized with sticky notes}

Here’s the super simplified breakdown of what went into getting this magazine from just a spark of an idea to the finished publication that you’ve hopefully had a chance to enjoy now:

  • Have a little dream. Let it grow and flutter around inside your mind for a little while until it’s ready to be set free.
  • Invite a group of your amazingly talented and generous online friends to believe in your little dream and contribute to it’s realization. Hope that they say yes, and then do a happy dance as each one does (thank you guys so much).
  • Compile a gargantuan list of awesome finds from shops and indie artists that you can dig through for your gift guide.

  • Open up your first blank Photoshop page and wonder how in the world you are going to make it look like a real magazine (have a mini panic attack and call a friend – thanks Biz).
  • Start putting together a bunch of your own projects and then set them aside once you see the awesome contributor projects start to come in (there is a lot of work to do and you are only one person after all)
  • Make about 10,000 versions (small exaggeration) of each page before finalizing anything.
  • Remake a few more pages and hope you haven’t royally messed anything up.


  • Ignore the housework piling up around you (like the massive heap of unfolded clothes on the couch). Fondly remember the days when you used to sleep and eat semi-regular meals.
  • Have an awesome family that is willing to give up their weekends to watch your daughter so that you can live in front of your computer for days on end (I love you Mom and Dad).
  • Upload each individual page into a PDF file and start adding the links.
  • Save a final copy and test it out then re-upload everything again once you realize you’d forgotten pages and missed links.
  • Upload the magazine to Issuu, take a deep breath and send your little dream out into the world.

There you have it. The simplified version of how this magazine came to be. Again I just have to thank everyone who was a part of making Gifted Magazine a reality, and all of you who have welcomed this project so very warmly. I love you all. xo Ez

P.S. All the projects that I was working on for Gifted that didn’t make it in the publication will be making an appearance here on Creature Comforts this month and next. Stay tuned for those. xo

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  1. linda / / Reply

    Ez. This is truly an amazing accomplishment and I am so inspired by your talent and motivation.

  2. Sarah / / Reply

    Ez! What a wonderful project, I'm so excited for you (and to try some projects out!) Congratulations.

    If you don't mind me asking, what typeface did you use in your little storyboard up there^ ? It's beautiful.


  3. Andreia / / Reply

    Thanks for sharing the behind the scenes of this wonderful Gift Guide. Now we understand better why it became so beautiful!

  4. susy / / Reply

    you forgot: buy yourself a treat now that you are done! (i always go for new shoes!… or pizza)

    this is such a sweet post. very heartening. i love that you shared this.

  5. Phoebe / / Reply

    Loved Gifted! So, you did everything in Photoshop instead of InDesign? That's a lot of work!

  6. Jen / / Reply

    I don't want to come off as Debbie Downer here…so apologies in advance. In reference to the logo though, when I first read it I thought it was trying to say "le Gifted" or "reGifted". I had to double check what the name is in the entry text…I get it now, but the extra flourishes in the beginning of the type are a bit confusing.

  7. margot / / Reply

    the magazine is seriously stunning! amazing job!

  8. KELLI TRONTEL / / Reply


    I loved your idea from the very beginning and goodness gracious….YOU NAILED IT!

    Once again….you have inspired me… keep doing EVERYTHING I do… EXCELLENCE!

  9. Julie / / Reply

    You did such an AMAZING job on Gifted :) it was such a joy to look through (i've already been through it twice to make sure I didn't miss anything, but I'm sure I still did!) your work is gorgeous!

  10. Andrea / / Reply

    Thank you for sharing and for such an incredible gift you gave us! Looking forward to the projects that didn't make the magazine and hoping and wishing for future editions!

  11. Kristin / / Reply

    And what a beautiful job you did! It was lovely and I know I'll be going through it several more times.

  12. frauheuberg / / Reply

    Hej Ez,
    thanks so much for this wonderful little outlet of ideas…a dream for the holiday season…the best start to begin the cozy and peaceful time…;)…and so exciting to follow the story behind the scences…really authentic and so full of emotions…thanks you talented woman for being here with us…have a lovley cozy weekend with your love ones…all the best…cheers and hugs…i…

  13. Becka @Studio222 / / Reply

    It looks amazing! I've already bookmarked a bunch of things for Christmas purchases! :) If you need any help with it in the future let me know. I'd love to contribute on a photo shoot!

  14. Caroline Landon / / Reply

    Thanks for the play-by-play! I can only imagine all the hard work and long hours that went into it, but it is so. darn. BEAUTIFUL!

  15. Mayi Carles / / Reply

    i love behind the scenes. and this was such an inpiring + awesome sneak peak back stage VIP pass. thanks for sharing !!! so cool!

  16. Marichelle / / Reply

    It's over it's over!! Thanks for the shout out – that made me laugh :)
    Now go and watch the rest of Dexter and double dip slices of apple in warm caramel!

  17. Cheapside / / Reply

    I've always been a HUGE fan of your aesthetic and now I get pages and pages and pages of it! :O
    Don't mind if I forward the link to everybody on my email list :D

  18. belinda/gretchenmist / / Reply

    such an enormous and divine project ~ you did a great job, it looks amazing :)
    am definitely going to make a couple of things from gifted.

  19. Miz.Jo / / Reply

    I got the time to look at and read every single page of the magazine this week. EZ, you and your little helper elves did an amazing job. Your magazine is a stand out amongst all the others out there. Inspirational and unique. I love it to pieces.
    Thanks for sharing the process with us. It's nice to know that all the polish and perfection start out just as human as the rest of us out here. Bravo.

  20. Annabel / / Reply

    Great to know how it came together. And to learn that you're a mum too which makes these kinds of projects so much more challenging. Good on you for pursuing your dream.

  21. Ez / / Reply

    I just had the loveliest time reading through all of your wonderful comments everyone. Thank you so much for taking the time to read through my behind the scenes post and leave such kind comments. Each one means the world to me. xo Ez

  22. nathalie / / Reply

    congratulations for Gifted Magazine, I love going through it, so much to discover ! and this "behind the scenes" is delightful and shows how much you have worked hard … I am glad you acted on your dream :) really enjoy this moment of accomplishment !

  23. Angela / / Reply

    Yay for you! Your magazine is fantastic! I know I'll be dipping into its pages again and again in the next few weeks. In one swoop, you have organised my gift list for literally "everyone" and helped me figure out how to create toddler-friendly ornaments that I can make with my son. We are going to have so much fun! Shhh…I already ordered the beer print for my husband…more shopping tomorrow (squee!).

  24. ChantaleP / / Reply

    This may be a simplified version of the process but it still looks extremely daunting! Good for you Ez! I am really impressed. You should really be proud of yourself because the end product is amazing. Hope you get some time off now and get to relax a tiny bit. ; )

  25. Laura / / Reply

    I had the time to go through gifted only today. I really have a huge admiration for you and the whole team that made this! It is awesome. Well done Ez! You are always a source of inspiration and this behind the scene is precious.

  26. liz / / Reply

    This is so great of you to share with your readers!! Thanks for always being true and genuine :) I love seeing the behind the making of your magazine!

  27. kara + darcy / / Reply

    thanks you for your sweet mountain of work that translated into a place where we want to perch, read and forget about all our housework………..!!! We are new readers and where have we been? Oh, that's right we have kidlets + a biz!!

  28. Victoria Bennett Beyer / / Reply

    Fun post, Ez. I know what you mean about the housework. When I am in an artistic groove, my house quickly becomes a pig sty and I feel so guilty about it. I start to make meals from whatever jars are on my shelf and my dogs become restless without walks. I feel terrible about all that but the quality of work I can get done in a week or to of serious focus is so worth it. As long as nobody drops by the house unexpectedly :)

  29. Cathie / / Reply

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the new magazine! Congratulations on all the hard work and organization. It's really inspiring and I can't wait to see more.

  30. alexis / / Reply

    what an incredible magazine. I adored it from cover to cover. thank you!

  31. Mandy Lynne / / Reply

    So many beautiful images & fantastic projects. I hope your magazine is wildly successful EZ!
    I'm so inspired!

  32. Tali Schiffer / / Reply

    What a great post! You really did put your heart and sole in to this, and it definitely shows!! Good luck with it! I hope you'll be publishing many many more issues :)

  33. kristin / / Reply

    Wow! Thanks so much for putting the time and effort into such a beautiful publication. It's got such great ideas and great advice. I was feeling pretty uninspired this Christmas, but after reading your amazing magazine (cover to cover), I'm feeling excited and inspired again. Independently created online magazines blow all the major players away. I don't think I'll ever purchase a magazine from a drugstore again.

  34. Claudia@StonehouseLove / / Reply

    You are so funny! Ignoring the mountains of housework, I bet! But thanks for ignoring it and truckin' on cuz now we get to benefit! It was all worth it!

  35. Kerri-Ann / / Reply

    Thanks for sharing the behind the scenes – fascinating! Certainly gives great insight into the process!

  36. LL / / Reply

    Cutest neglected housework ever! And totally worth it — I'm loving the magazine!

  37. Juliana / / Reply

    The magazine was absolutely perfect and lovely. Congratulations and thank you! It was all I was hoping for and more.

  38. Lucinda / / Reply

    You should be so proud! Your on-line magazine is stunning, and I quickly sent it to my friend to check out as well. Thanks for all your hard work and sharing with us!

  39. WoonHung / / Reply

    Hi Ez,
    Thanks for posting this. I love your openness to your own shortfalls & appraisal on other great designers/artists/professionals. You are a great inspiration. I am so intimidated seeing your great piece of work but I am also immensely inspired. Thanks for all of this.

  40. Katy / / Reply

    Wonderful to see your process and also that you have seen a dream realised. It is possible! Mine is growing also but seeing that it is achievable when you put your mind to it is very encouraging.

    I haven't yet seen it as I only have internet access at work at the mo and it's blocked – I will get to see it soon though. i must!

  41. erika / / Reply

    Wow, this is amazing, you did such a good job and it's so great that you share how you worked on the magazine. I'm busy making a catalogue (also in issuu but not as complex as your magazine) and I can see and understand how much work you have put in, bravo!!

  42. Ellen / / Reply

    Followed a link from Chez Larsson to "Gifted". WOW! what a wonderful magazine…I just like to look through the pages again and again. Thank you for putting this together and sharing it with all of us for FREE! I downloaded a bunch of freebies and scribbled down notes of things to try this season. Thank you for the inspiration!

  43. Miss B / / Reply

    I love this breakdown and I am especially partial to the sweet pup in the laundry, that's perfection in my book. You should be so proud of yourself, so very beautiful + creative.

  44. Charissa - The Gifted Blog / / Reply

    Well done you! I am very impressed by the quality (and quantity – that's a lot of pages!) of Gifted Magazine. And of course, I loved the gift wrapping ideas – especially Sally Shim's.

  45. Kate / / Reply

    Absolutely worth all of the hard work! It came out beautiful, I just spent an hour pouring over the "pages"!

  46. Jeanelle / / Reply

    Love this magazine, awesome projects, gift ideas and amazing bloggers rolled into one amazing mag :) Love your behind the scenes, now people can see a glimpse into the complicated world of a true designer, Congrats EZ :)

  47. the clothing menu / / Reply

    i just read through the first issue and love it! it def did get me in the holiday mood – excited to try some of the holiday diy projects and look again through the gift recos!

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