Love love love

I have a friend who always says, “I love love.” This made me think of her. I made one square of love (each letter is inside the previous one), then grouped it together and rotated it to make this piece. It’s pretty stinking cute.

Sorry that all you get today is a printable… work has been crazy (We are almost finished writing copy for our alumni magazine! Whew!) and I’ve stayed late several days this week. And now that it is dark so early I have such a hard time wanting to do anything but cuddle up with my hubby and dog and watch TV. Oh well. Tomorrow is a craft fair, then Sunday is my man’s birthday. It will be pretty low key, but hopefully a good one nonetheless.


Give Thanks printable

Well, it’s almost Thanksgiving. Holy moly, it is early this year. Thanksgiving is always crazy for us because we travel to Ohio to see my dad’s family. That doesn’t sound too crazy, but when you consider that we go up on Wednesday night and come back Saturday morning and that it is a 9-hour drive… well, you see what I’m talking about. But family is family, so we suck it up and go. And we have a great time :)

Today’s post is another graphic design tutorial using screen caps in InDesign. Let’s do this!

I wanted to make a “Give Thanks” printable/computer background for the month of November, so I opened up a new InDesign doc and got to work.

Since Fall has such rich, warm tones, I chose an orange for the background by dragging a box to the edges of the paper and filling it.

I adjusted my orange using the CMYK sliders.

In a second layer, I made this cross-looking design using the font Soft Ornaments Six. This shape is four “letters” rotated and joined together.

I liked this look, so I grouped the four “letters” together, then copied and pasted them into another layer. I rotated them so the cross became a snowflake-y design.

Then I added my words. I put them into one text box at first before I started to manipulate the text.

I found a font I like called Albemarle Swash, so I changed my text to that font and started playing with colors. First purple.

Nope. Then light blue with a brown background…

And then I changed “give” to be smaller and all lowercase, resting it on the upper curl of the “k.”

… and then I got tired of looking at orange. Shocker. I can’t stay away from blue, no matter how hard I try. I also made the document a square instead of a rectangle and changed my text to black.

I like how it turned out, even though the colors have nothing to do with the fall. In the blue, the background looks more like a snowflake, which means I can use this as my background all through the winter.

Feel free to download this printable, and remember to give thanks!

Things I am thankful for:

  • My husband
  • My family
  • My friends
  • My pup
  • My job and my awesome coworkers
  • My new and awesome neighbors
  • My house. Gosh, I love my house.
  • My blog and all of my followers!
  • …. and so many other things.

Stand Tall printable

I love to play around with the Adobe Creative Suite because every time I do I learn something new. For this printable, I was inspired by a tattoo I saw on Pinterest. Here are screenshots of the project as I went along.

I like to start any project with words or a quote by simply adding my text to the page and fooling around with different fonts until I find one that is just right. You’ll probably notice two different fonts between these first few images and my final image — I exed out of my original design and lost everything I had done so far so I had to start for square one again. Whoops.

After the text is on the page, I start manipulating it, sometimes adding different parts of the words into different text boxes altogether. For example, the “s” in “stand” is in its own text box, while “tand” is in another. This allows you to maneuver your text exactly how you want it. Since I wanted the “S” lower and in a larger font, it was easier to create a new text box for it than to leave it with the rest of the word. In that same vein, each letter in “tall” has its own text box.

After I squeezed, stretched, angled, shrunk, etc. my letters, I started adding the rest of the picture. I used the pencil tool and the smoothing tool to add these lines.

Notice the switched fonts? It worked out for the best I think.

With the InDesign portion of my printable done, I grabbed the vector image I created and dropped it into Photoshop.

On many different layers, I tinted the background, added the paintbrush texture, added giraffe spots and added the grass border. I had to play around with the opacity of each layer, but once I messed around with it enough I think I got it just right.

What do you think of the final product?

I {heart} You printable

Did you know you can search for “free _____ background” on Google images and download pre-created, fun backgrounds for your design projects? I’ve used this new tip a few times now, downloading a free brick background for the Occasional Symphony poster I designed and a gray chevron background for today’s printable. I’m sure you’ve seen the cute “I {heart} You” printables floating around Pinterest where the I, O and U are a different color from the rest of the alphabet… and the O is a heart (cause otherwise you’d be making a cute sign to tell someone you owe them something and that would be weird….). Well, it was too fun and too cute to not make a version of my own. So, with a free chevron pattern in my back pocket/ downloads folder, I set out to create my own.

For this printable, I used a heart that I created myself in Adobe Illustrator and the font Crystal Radio Kit. Isn’t it a fun, bubbly font? So cute.

I grabbed the gray chevron print from google and faded it down to about 30 percent so it wouldn’t completely overwhelm the letters. Then, I picked colors for my letters, and a fun pink for the three stand-out letters. To get everything into a square, I justified the text and played with the kerning between individual letters.

Loveeeeee it. Need a copy of your own? Download it! Want to make one for yourself — do it! And then show me how cute it is :)

“Beautiful” printable

Because… well, just because.

Print it out, hang it up and, most importantly, smile.

Fonts: MTF I Heart Sketches, Clementine Sketch, Sketch Block


Smith Family Tree

Are you ready for the most adorable thing ever? Are you really ready? OK, here goes. LOOKATTHEADORABLEFAMILYTREEIDESIGNEDFORMEANDHUBS!!!!! *breath*

I am so very pleased with how this project turned out. In fact, it might be my favorite thing that I’ve ever designed. EVER. (EVAAAAAARRRRRR, right sisters?)


Welcome to our “family tree!” It’s not a real family tree because those follow some sort of genealogy structure, but I love it just the same.

I designed this print in InDesign using five different fonts (the hearts are a font!) and three different colors (brown, green and pink in different transparencies). InDesign has this great feature where you can draw a line and then make your text curve to the line, so I used that to get some of the names in our tree to curve like tree branches.

The Fonts:

I only did our immediate families because once you get past that we get wayyyyyyy to crazy. Already we have three sets of parents! I had to contain our crazy somehow :) Our parents are in brown and paired with one another and a small pink heart. The dark green names are those of my siblings. The hubby has none, so they are all mine *evil laugh.* Then the lighter green font are the various last names of our family. I am a Bauer turned Smith. My older sister is a Rivera. My dad is a Bauer and my mom a Rowicki-turned-Brown. Tierney is my mother-in-law’s maiden (and now middle) name, and Shaffer is my step mom’s maiden (now middle) name. The date is our wedding date, when our families became one big happy family (our one-year anniversary is coming up so soon! Holy cow.).

I absolutely love how well this print turned out. This might be the first of my designs I have professionally printed for us. It is just perfect.

Do you have a family tree in your home?


Words to live by

Sometimes you just have to go for it.

Nothing is impossible

I stumbled across this quote from Winston Churchill on a website created to collect words of support and donations for one of my older sister’s best friends. He and his family are going through a really tough time, but are constantly being supported by their friends, families, coworkers, etc. I thought this quote was particularly inspiring, especially considering the amount of support the family has gotten and the trials they’ve already overcome.

“If we are together, nothing is impossible.” – Winston Churchill

So if you or someone you know is in need of some words of encouragement, wisdom, inspiration, etc., feel free to download this free printable and hang it up where you will see it and be reminded that nothing is impossible with the love and support of those who matter.

Check back tomorrow for an update on the wooden trunk I am refinishing! It’s been primed twice and is ready for some color!

Mother’s Day printable

Need a card for Mother’s Day? Find some cardstock, click and save this free image, and voila! Tell your mom she is the bomb this Mother’s Day. You know she deserves it.

This image links to a downloadable/saveable PDF with trim marks. One you cut out your card, it will fit in any greeting card envelope.