Stay awhile…inexpensive artwork…

I’ve mentioned before that winter in Arizona is amazing. (It’s what gets us through our toasty summers!) And every winter we get a crew of visitors escaping their winter weather. Our door is always open for visitors. We love it. Our kids love it. The minute someone walks out the door our kids are asking who our next visitor is.

This winter we’ve had an abnormally high number of visitors. When my mom was here, we were naming off all the friends/family we’ve been able to see. We crunched the numbers and figured since December 27 through my mom leaving on March 15, we had someone in our guest room for 49 out of 79 days. The longest visitor was my brother who was here for a week with his family right after Christmas and three additional weeks (although not consecutively) for work. When we say we love visitors, we really do mean it.

I even changed out some artwork in the guest room to reflect our love for visitors.

Inexpensive artwork for guest room using Staples engineer prints

Looking for inexpensive artwork?

Grab a 24×36 frame from Hobby Lobby.

Print out a saying at Staples as an engineer print. (There’s plenty of Etsy shops that sell digital files to quotes and sayings if you don’t want to design one yourself.) The print will cost you less than $4 for black and white.

It’s cheap enough that when we grow tired of visitors we can change the saying!

Nautical Baby Shower Invite…

We’ve definitely got baby on the brain over here. My good friend is supposed to have her first baby just 5 weeks after we have our fifth! Our husbands have been best friends since they were young and she has become my wood working partner in crime. I have no doubt our little boys will share a bond as well.

In celebration of her new little boy, her sister-in-laws threw her a nautical themed shower and I was happy to provide the invite.

Nautical Baby Shower Invite

We’ve taken several pictures together over the course of our pregnancy – these two pictures are from her shower and they are our second to last pictures being pregnant together. (The last one was taken tonight when they came over to watch Survivor with us. It’s a pretty funny series of pictures – I’ll have to get my hands on them from her phone!)
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It won’t be too long before we’re taking pictures of our growing boys together – much more fun than belly photos!

2016 YW Theme; Free Printables…

The 2016 theme for the Young Women and Young Men for our church is “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Nephi 31:20).

Every year I design printables around the new theme and this year I ran into a dilemma. I’ve really been liking some watercolor floral prints lately – which is not usually the case. So I designed the theme with this in mind. I completed the theme and sat with it on my computer for almost two weeks without touching it again. Although I really liked it, it just wasn’t me no how matter how hard I tried. It’s official. Floral prints still aren’t my thing as much as I like them. I even tried buying a floral print shirt I saw on someone else and loved it on them. I put it on and promptly removed it. Not me.

So I reworked the theme to more of a geometric pattern which is 100% me. But the work is done on the first design so I offer you two options this year!
2016 YW Theme; Press forward with steadfastness in Christ; Free printable - binder cover, 5x7, 4x6 and logo
Free downloads include a binder cover, 5×7 print, 4×6 print and the stand alone logos. Feel free to use as you please (personal use only). Enjoy!
2016 YW Theme; Press forward with steadfastness in Christ; Free printable - binder cover, 5x7, 4x6 and logo
2016 YW Theme; Press forward with steadfastness in Christ; Free printable - binder cover, 5x7, 4x6 and logo
2016 YW Theme; Press forward with steadfastness in Christ; Free printable - binder cover, 5x7, 4x6 and logo
2016 YW Theme; Press forward with steadfastness in Christ; Free printable - binder cover, 5x7, 4x6 and logo

Find previous years here, here, here and here.

Download All 2016 YW Theme as a ZIP file (Geometric Design)
Download All 2016 YW Theme as a ZIP file (Floral Design)

Download 2016 YW Theme Binder Cover (Geometric Design)
Download 2016 YW Theme 5×7 print (Geometric Design)
Download 2016 YW Theme 4×6 print (Geometric Design)
Download 2016 YW Theme Logo (Geometric Design)

Download 2016 YW Theme Binder Cover (Floral Design)
Download 2016 YW Theme 5×7 print (Floral Design)
Download 2016 YW Theme 4×6 print (Floral Design)
Download 2016 YW Theme Logo (Floral Design)

Always learning…

I love learning. I have a list a mile long of things I want to learn. With the kids going back to school I was ready to go back-to-school as well – as much as one can with two kids still at home.

I’ve always admired people with great handwriting and I love the idea of using my own handwriting more in my graphic design work. I follow a guy on instagram who posts the most beautiful brush pen calligraphy videos. And recently he posted that he had a class on Skillshare.com. I immediately went and signed up for the class and started going through his two hours of videos. I purchased his recommended brush pens from JetPens.com and as soon as they arrived I started practicing. Although it’s not an extremely difficult skill – they sure make it look easier on all those videos than it really is.

I have a feeling it’s going to take way more practice than I anticipated, which is okay by me, I really just want to learn. Although the videos were very informative and easy to follow along – I was missing a basic principle; how to old the brush pen.

I did more research and came across a great blog, Pieces Calligraphy that filled in all the blanks and even offered some informative videos for free. I’ve bookmarked this site and have referenced back more than a few times when I need a little extra help.

At this stage I’m practicing my letters and at the pace I’m going I’ll be done with the alphabet within the year! Practice, Practice, Practice!
Brush Pen Calligraphy

Finished product…

I do a lot of design work. Corporate. Church. Families and friends. Most the time I send the artwork to the printer and the finished product ends up being delivered to the client without me ever seeing the final product. So when I do happen across my work out in public it’s always fun.

I was at Walmart yesterday morning in the check-out line. The lady in front of me turned around and I recognized her shirt as one that I designed for a Stake girls camp in the area. I had never seen the shirt complete and I loved the way it turned out. I complimented her shirt and then in full-disclosure told her I designed the shirt.

Later that evening we were out and about and from a distance I saw another shirt that looked familiar. I recently designed a family reunion shirt and although I couldn’t be positive, the front looked familiar. Sure enough the back sealed the deal. I liked it better printed up than I did on my computer screen.

I love what I do – especially when I see it finished!

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