Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WIWOT: InSwimwear BSwim Ads

Now that I'm a regular contributor to the InSwimwear website, I'm sure I'll be posting even more ads and eblast designs. I'm entering in to the world of SEO and internet marketing here as well. I have to admit that I'm learning a lot as I go, but it seems to be working pretty well. I plan on using the skills added here to the other websites I manage. And I really do love designing ads. It's one of the highlights of my job. They're quick, easy, and loads of fun. Plus I get to flex my Photoshop muscles a bit. Like this one? Totally two different pictures, I got to clone some balloons and grass. Fun, right? You can hardly tell.

And I love this flirty little sailor girl. Sometimes, the best ads are just a simple crop. The image speaks for itself. I'm eager to show you the ones for later this month now!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

LE Poster Remix

Adapting my favorite poster design for postcards The Landon Exchange could pass out at a community festival was a lot of fun. I have to say I almost like it even better than the full-size version. Something about fitting key information in a compact size. It's punchy right? All the descriptive info is on the back. Now I wish I could just do them all in fun size!

Monday, March 29, 2010

WIWOT: InSwimwear Friends Eblast

To boost sales, InSwimwear is offering current customers a 50% discount for referring three friends to the site. So to get the word out, we're creating an eblast! I like that I can make things bright and happy, and that the logo has hot pink in it. Plus I get to make fun textures, so that's also a bonus. So get on over to InSwimwear and tell all your friends!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

In Living Color

Progress is being made slowly but surely at the Southern Oaks house. This weekend was our last visit for another month, when we'll be hitting the ground running during the week-long break between semesters for the Boy. We had goals, and luckily we were able to check off all the items on our To-Do list. We finished grinding off the last of the linoleum glue (which means the floors are finally done being removed, now it's just prepping them to do, well, whatever we end up deciding to do to them), peeled off the final resistant remnants of wallpaper, but most importantly, finally got to paint!

Unfortunately we didn't have time to clean before photos however. But I'm so happy with the green. It's hard to tell in the pictures, but the ceiling and closet color is a shade lighter than the walls. We used that same principle in the second bedroom.
I love this blue. Absolutely adore it. And we still have edging to do, so please don't judge me. And the trim all has to be painted, as well as the floor sanded to remove all the carpet glue. But it's progress, and it makes me happy.

Our next venture includes even more painting. Lots more painting. The kind that makes you scream in protest and vow to never paint another room again. But at least once we're done we can move on to the more fun projects (even though that's what I said about painting when we were removing carpet and lino, but hey, gotta keep your chin up!) And hopefully with more than twice the time we normally get to spend, everything will be tidy and clean and ready to take beautiful glamor shots to post instead of dirty floors and messy beds. But you can't win 'em all!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Wedding Slump

  It's true. I'm in a funk. A wedding funk. Right after we got engaged it was all fun-filled dreaming, breaking into the craft projects and carving out our style. But now I'm burnt out. I don't want to spend hours hand-screening invitation sets. My credit card numbers keep getting higher and higher with wedding purchases and so does my stress level. I would like to see that number go down a bit before I pile on even more. Most of the DIY projects I have planned need to wait until we get closer to the Big Day anyway. Some we can't even build until we get to Lake Jackson in August.

So, I suppose now would be a good time to just take a break. Concentrate on other things until I have a reason to think white and frilly again. My dresses should be arriving soon, an engagement session scheduled now that the weather's improving, and soon we'll be able to start booking our honeymoon reservations. I'm pretty excited about that. But for now, I'm just going to put it on the back burner. Enjoy the sunshine and go canoeing, make big plans for the house, do a little sewing. Plus I need to really focus on work. I've heard this happens to everyone, so I suppose it's nothing new. Maybe putting together a list will help. I don't know, anyone have some suggestions?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wedding: DIY hair combs

Working in a bridal shop certainly had its advantages. I got my dress at a wholesale price, for instance. Also, I get to see all the gorgeous hair pieces and accessories on display. However, those don't come at a discount. And with even the most simple starting at $30, I knew I'd never be able to afford $200 hair combs in my wedding budget (and yes, they really are priced that high! I honestly can't fathom it). So, I did what any self-respecting DIY bride would do. I went to Hobby Lobby.

Total cost for two hair combs, a strand of large cream pearls, a strand of smaller ivory pearls, a bag of crystals and some pretty white feathers (not added yet, but they'll be there for the wedding) was a whopping twelve dollars. Yes, twelve dollars! And oh, my gosh they were so simple! I thought it would end up being a flop, but really all you have to do is load up a simple wire with the beads and wrap it around the comb. They took maybe 20 minutes each. And now I have two stunning hair combs that are perfectly suited to my wedding and my personality. So I encourage everyone out there to not accept everything at face value (especially in the wedding world) and attempt to create it yourself. Sometimes the results are even more than you hoped for. Now if I could just decide on how I'll wear my hair on the big day...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

You're So Vain

You probably think this post is about you... but it's about me! I admit, I have a touch of vanity. Whenever I need to figure out a new illustration technique or practice some new actions in photoshop, I always use myself. But think of all the great Facebook opportunities I've created! Here's a quick look of myself in design.
 Do you see me there? I'm hiding in the right hand corner. Yup, piggin out. Cause that's how I roll! So there you have it. I unabashedly feature myself in my work. I figure if the model's free, why not? ;)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I've been having a bit of a downer week. Mostly it happens when I'm feeling particularly strapped financially, and I must admit I'm a bit stressed with my traveling schedule. Most weeks I only get to spend 2 days in my apartment, and it really does wear me down. So, today I thought I'd cheer myself up with a list of my favorite things, the things that make me happy. Just to keep in mind how truly blessed I really am. Actually, there's so many I think this may be a weekly/monthy post!


Bright Colors

Pie. Especially the homemade kind

The sweet, wacky Boy

My $125 craigslist piano

Purple couches. Silver bookcases. Dallas apartment.

My precious little Rory. She really sleeps like this (as in, on top of me)

Red meat. You're looking at 32 different cuts of steak. I always knew Texas is my true home.

Camping in the sunshine by a lake.

Giving badass presents. (because then I get them in return!)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Meet Mettie

She's finally arrived! Ain't she grand? I'm in love. Absolute love. I had my first lesson, drove to my favorite cafe, and am ready to embark on a 15 mile trip to go pick up the Boy at his house. After a little snafu with getting insurance, I finally got to bring her home!
Gotta love a Honda. And the gray is to die for.
And in case you were wondering, this is how Mettie got her name. My Honda Metropolitan. Now the Boy is gunnin' for the Ruckus, the brother moped. We'll see if he makes an appearance in the future. For now, I'm gonna roll out!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dallas Arboretum

If you've never been to the Dallas Arboretum, it's absolutely wonderful. Luscious plants strewn everywhere, fragrance in the air. Pretty ponds and the placid lake make a fun place for photos.
Isn't he a cutie pie? They have a fun Old-West like town for kids to play in too. And awesome spots to make yourself a new Facebook profile photo ;)
So I had a little photoshop fun with this one. And some stylin' box-colored hair! What can I say, red makes me happy. As does the Fonz. Do you see him there on my lapel? Now he's big pimpin on my bouquet. Heart you Fonz.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

To Grandma's House We Go

There she is folks. Our first house. The boy's grandma is generously giving him her house, originally built in the '50's. So not only is this our first home, it's our first fixer upper! The 2 bed 1 bath creekside beauty is complete with retro cabinets and brown shag carpet. Yeah baby.
Isn't that carpet gorgeous? Yeah, not so much. That was one of the first things to go. And the sliding closet doors and window features? Soon to follow.
Ancient linoleum coupled with mismatched cabinets and countertops. This one's going to be a much longer reno, but phase 1 will be pulling up the floors and painting the outdated wood.
Mirrored tiles. 'Nuff said. Oh, but the kicker? There's neon flower wallpaper under there. Fab.
The fireplace is a gem. That will be the focal point, and one of the few things left untouched. This is retro at its best folks.
I get chills of horror looking at this. I mean, wtf? Lattice divider? Creepy old countertop? Ginormous plate glass mirror. And the tub will have to be refinished too. I don't even know if we'll battle the wallpaper.
The second bedroom is the only one remaining with the original hardwood (hardwood!) floors. Please, carpet men everywhere, stop the madness. It should be against the law to rip out hardwoods to install carpet. Especially in an entire house! Oh the horror! The pain! Someday we'll have hardwoods again. When we're both employed and rolling in dough.
The backyard is another diamond in the rough. Beyond that chain link fence is a slope down to a wide creek you can boat in. I totally plan to canoe to the grocery store. Just try and stop me! And that old patio roof will need to go soon too. All in due time.

So there it is in its raw state. We've done quite a bit so far, but it seems like we've barely moved. Now I see why home improvements never seem to end...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spotlight: Vixen boutique

I loved art school. Having an art major was the best thing about college. We didn't have papers, or speeches, or tons of homework. Each class had 4 projects per semester, each lasting three weeks. Mind you, we still worked our tushies off. But it was fun work in the studio or on computers rather than in the library. This was for my corporate design class, and we had to create a logo, and then an ad campaign to go with it. This was the first logo I was proud of. Mind you now I look at it and cringe, but it's really not so bad. This is just a designer's version of an old yearbook photo with blue eyeshadow and suspenders or something. The ad campaign induces the same reaction.
This was a billboard. Um, yeah. Not so hot. But I was in my illustration obsession phase, so I thought it was the coolest thing ever. The magazine layouts are just as awesome.
At least I tried, right? And I promise you I wasn't overly vain, I just had to use photos I owned in order to create the illustrations, and I didn't have too many to choose from with girls in nice clothes. So please forgive me. And don't judge me, I was an unenlightened college student with apparently no taste.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Alien People, or Free Marriage Education Postcard

I was asked to do a postcard that was similar to a design by another artist they'd had made previously. The only problem? The people had no faces! And for some reason it looks like they're trapped in the Va-Jay-Jay time warp. Does it not? And though I'm impressed with my impeccable use of gradients and shading, the fact that they have no eyes is too Picasso for me. But the client loved it, which is good in the end I suppose. But I will forever be haunted by the Gynecologically-ensconced flat-face alien people in my portfolio.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sugar Daddy

Hello, lover! So the Boy, the wonderful Boy took me scooter shoppin. I got to pick out my very own moped to tool around town in. Isn't it cute? It's the Honda Metropolitan. And I can't wait to get it in! Only 5 days before I can go pick it up. To say I'm excited is an understatement. I'm going to drive to the bank, and to the grocery store, and to my favorite cafe! It's going to be a blast. Well, so long as I don't kill myself doing it. Coordination is not one of my key skills...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Keystone Cowboys

Living with a college kid is not such a bad deal. He grills and cooks a lot, sweeps, and is a pretty tidy person. Plus, there's always fun people around and he doesn't freak out about dog hair all over my purple couches, or the tv that's on the smaller side. So when he asked me to print him and his friends some team shirts for an impeding case race*, I was pretty excited. (Plus I kind of wanted the opposition, his girlfriend and roommates, to STOMP them!) Here's how they turned out.
So it's not the best photo ever, I was in a rush, sorry! But they look really cute! In a man-way of course. I was really impressed with how fine the Yudu was able to print lines. I did shirts for the girls' team too, but I have a soft spot for alliteration. What can I say? And though the ladies put up a good fight, as well as a few "questionable" tactics, there was a bit of disqualification at the end. Apparently you must keep all that beer down, and any sickness is immediate disqualification. Who knew drinking games had such intense rules?

* A case race is when two teams (usually consisting of 2-3 college students) see who can drink a case of beer (30, just fyi) the fastest. A wonderful way to achieve alcohol poisoning! And for the record, I have never played such a game. Or really any drinking games. So many empty calories taking away my hard earned Insanity Workout muscles...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Support Love

Does this look a little familiar? Well it should, it's based on my deer design used in my Etsy shop! When an elementary friend contacted me about adapting my design for a LBGT society, I have to admit I was excited. It's a more subtle way to cheer for equal rights. I'll be handling the printing of these shirts, done on high quality American Apparel tees. Here's the mockup.
Cute yeah? I think they'll turn out pretty great. This is the first time I'll be outsourcing printing of my designs, mainly because I am getting crazy tired of slaving over my Yudu screenprinter, which is what I've been doing all my tshirts, shop items, and wedding stationery on. I'm ready to mass produce baby! And I can't wait to rock this shirt, I think it's super cute!