Monday, October 26, 2009

Candy Corn Witch

For those of you hoping to only see lettering here, I have to apologize. I was trying to decide if I should separate out my personal projects from my lettering and I finally decided I would keep it altogether. Sorry! You'll just have to weed through the stuff that doesn't interest you! :-)

So this past week my daughter and her best friend decided they wanted to be candy corn witches for their halloween party. This was fine except all the local stores had sold out of the costume and the adult version was wayyyy too risque for my taste and for my 12 year old!

I agreed to make both of their costumes. What was I thinking? Oh, probably the same thing I think any time I am met with a challenge - I can totally do this! It would have been fine except the girls found out they would need me to make the costumes on Friday morning and we were hosting 15 people for dinner for my mom's birthday on Friday night!

So I ran like a crazy person all day getting stuff done and went to JoAnn's and bought all the fabric after I sat down and sketched out the idea. This was not easy as I could not find a pattern to modify so I had to wing it all on my own! Yikes!

We had a wonderful dinner party and said goodbye to all of our guests around 10ish. I sat down to the sewing machine and had a 15 hour costume sewing marathon. That's right - I pulled an all-nighter. I can't remember when it was exactly but at some point I think around 2, I realized if I went to bed, I would never finish in time for the Halloween party the next day.

So I sewed and cut and measured - wait reverse that. I'm still a little sleep deprived! But ... drum roll ... I did it! The girls were thrilled. They loved their costumes and I was happy to do it. I crashed at 3:30 in the afternoon and didn't wake up until 6 o'clock Sunday morning! Phew! What a weekend! But it's done...

Here is the sketch I did as well as the finished costumes... Hope there are other moms out there as crazy as I am that can appreciate it!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Final fishies

I thought I would post a picture of the final fish project. These are hung in the window of our kitchen. The gloss made a big difference. The fun thing is they gently sway and rotate so they look really dynamic in an otherwise dull space. The cats are going nuts! :-)
Happy Thursday!

My first American Greetings job

I just completed my first gig for American Greetings. I am thrilled to be doing freelance for one of the top greeting card companies in the world! It was a great learning experience and just this one job has improved my "contemporary" lettering already.

It's slightly embarrassing to admit my first attempts were less than stellar. But the senior lettering designer was so patient and extremely helpful. His direction was excellent and I was able to accomplish what he was looking for. PHEW!

This is straight lettering - no illustration or card design - so it is done in black and white. Hard to imagine these two lines took me well over a 40 hour work week, 6 nibs, a full jar of McCaffery's, and two reams of paper! But the practice will certainly help in getting my style up to speed.

So here it is ... look for it in a major retailer near you next Father's Day!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Second Beading Attempt - Dragonfly Ornaments

I saw this great ornament on this site: Dragonfly Ornament.

Dragonfly Ornament.Looking for terrific Art and Craft Ideas? To make these lovely dragonfly ornaments, see the tutorial and photos on the How To Arts and website.

I wanted to make an ornament to donate to our Art Center to sell at their craft fair.

Wow - this was hard! I couldn't get the wire to stay smooth. And it was very time consuming. But I had fun. I chose to do silver instead of gold. The directions were great. I would not have been able to make it without all the photos.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Silk Ribbon & Bead Book Marks

I made these for Christmas gifts last year. I think they were well received. Each of my children have 3 teachers so I tried to come up with something I could give to each that was still nice and slightly different.

The hand dyed silk ribbon comes from Jamn Glass. They are beautiful in real life. She handstitches the edges! Wow!

The idea came from a Bead magazine which escapes me right now but I'll dig it up.

This was my first attempt at beading. I don't enjoy it that much (it's time consuming and so much harder than it looks). So I tip my hat off to all you wonderful beaders out there! :-)


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Last one for today...

I'm working on my first card for American Greetings. Can you tell I am procrastinating? It's is a great learning experience and it's really helping me get my lettering up to snuff. By that I mean - more contemporary.

Anyway, I have lettered "Happy" about 300 times in the past 24 hours so I'm taking a "happy" break. :-)

Here is another gift I crocheted this year. These were for my neices. One day I was over babysitting and I was knitting a hat for someone. They asked if I could knit them a ballerina and a dolly in a blue dress. Hmmm... I'm on it! So this got me interested in amigurumi. For those of you that don't crochet, I think that is the japanese art of crocheting or knitting stuffed animals or toys or something. It is addictive! And fun. My problem is I like to finish things at one sitting so that means I stayed up wayyyy too late making each of these! But the girls loved them and that was totally worth it. They even sleep with them. :-)

Once, again I went to etsy for the pattern. This one is from AJollyShop. I modified the pattern a little to make the ballerina tutu.

More stuff I did this year ... more baby bibs, booties, and hats

As I said, I did go a little crazy with the baby stuff. Here are some more things I did...

These bibs are great. I so wish I had thought to do something like this when my kids wore bibs. This pattern is also from Precious Patterns on Etsy.

I also made these little damask booties (another Precious Patterns):

I crocheted these baby booties. The pattern is from FrougesArt.

I'll post more later... it was a busy year! :-)

Stuff I did this year... Handsewn Baby Bibs

So I can't believe it's the middle of October already! But when I look back on the year, I've done quite a bit of stuff! Not a whole lot of lettering because I took a small hiatus. But I had time to do some projects I enjoy doing. I thought I'd post some for fun, although not related to lettering...

My cousin had her first baby this year. I was thrilled to start making stuff for a baby again. I went a little crazy but had so much fun doing it.

These are reversible bibs. I loved these in that they weren't "baby-ish" but more fun patterns but still in bright colors. I bought the pattern on Etsy from Precious Patterns. She has great patterns.

Free Paperclay Fish Template

Couldn't figure out how to make just a link so I'm uploading this as a photo...hope it works. Have fun and let me know if you make one!

A little crafting... Paperclay Fish

I've been trying to come up with ideas that all three kids and I can do together. The older two had a great time at art camp this summer with our local Art Center. So Friday night I stayed up late making these little fish and turtle ornaments out of paperclay. I drew a template and then used an exacto knife to cut them out. Once cut out, I used a wet paintbrush and my finger to smooth the edges and shape them the way I wanted. I put each one on a balled up piece of recycled paper (the sheets I used to practice my calligraphy) to dry.

I used beads for the eyes in most and left a few in case the kids wanted to paint the eyes instead. I poked a hole in each one so we can hang them but you could also glue a magnet to the back instead.

In the morning, the kids and I painted them. What fun! Everyone could participate and was very happy with what they made. Here's what we came up with... the one on top is Erilyn's, then Kaiden's, then Delainey's, then mine. The kids did a great job. We have two windows in our kitchen eat-in area so I am going to hang these along the window at varying heights.

I've included the free template if anyone wants to give it a try. I will warn you though, it takes a lot of patience and time to shape the ornaments and smooth the edges. But I found it very relaxing and satisfying. :-) If you give it a try, hope you have fun!


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Where oh where have I gone?

Wow! It's been a *long* time since I have been on here. Let's just say life with 3 kids has been extremely busy. Studying homeopathic medicine, designing greeting cards, and taking care of three kids has just about put me over the top. However, my littlest one has finally started preschool which means, YES - mommy has 3 hours free EVERY weekday! I don't know what to do with myself. But first I am getting my lettering skills back up to snuff.

I started this week with my first freelance gig for American Greetings. Yippee! I'm very flattered to even be considered for American Greetings so I'll be very, very happy if I get some good gigs. The first one is a Father's Day card and I really like the design. I get to do straight lettering without having to worry about designing the whole card which makes it much less time consuming and a little less stressful. Not as much pay, but hey, it all adds up.

So I also haven't had time these past couple years to keep my hand in what has been happening in the lettering world. Wow again! A lot! There are blogs aplenty and many, many more websites than when I started in 2001.

I was very inspired yesterday reading Jane Farr's beautiful blog! And so I am going to try to blog more which anything would be more since I haven't blogged in literally years!

So here's my first ... I designed this today. I was trying to come up with a "Florida-ish" Christmas design for our local art center which is hosting a contest for their holiday card pack. I could not come up with anything until I saw this beautiful orchid in a sea shell at our local farmer's market this morning! It was calling my name. So I bought it even though I know I won't be able to keep it alive. And the rest just came right out. I'm real happy with it even I don't make it into the card packet. Here it is...hope you enjoy seeing it.