Graphic Design

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.

Download here: IheartU

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 🙂

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Furniture

Stained and striped coffee table

Ahhhh, another project so long in the works.

My dad brought me this old table from my aunt’s house in Cincinnati. I wasn’t crazy about it at first — it is extremely heavy — but it started to grow on me. Plus, it’s way nicer than the Ikea table dad got us from a yard sale. So about a month ago I started to refinish this piece.

I really like the lines in the top of this table. I noticed right away the vertical lines in the table top, sandwiched by two horizontal pieces of wood. I had the idea to stain every other plank a dark gray to give this top some pizzaz.

So I went off to Home Depot to pick up some stain — I tried a new stain, Varathane, which I really liked. The polyurethane is particularly awesome.

I sanded the top of the table and then taped off every other slat with blue painter’s tape.

Once I taped off the table, I stained the contained slats a smokey gray using a sponge brush. I waited 10 minutes, then wiped off the stain.

Once the gray was finished, I started to apply the black stain over top of it. The black stain turned out to be more of a dark brown, which I liked. If I had done a second coat of stain, it probably would have been a bit more black. But I liked the contrast between the gray and brown.

This is where I stopped about a month ago — whoops. Between house-warming parties and jam-packed weekends, I just didn’t have the time to tackle this project.

Luckily, I had time this past Sunday to complete this project.

I took the table outside and flipped it over to stain the underneath.

I scraped the little stain drips off the underneath of the table, then stained the bottom black. I let it dry for a few hours, then applied several coats of matte Varathane polyurethane for the table.

I love this table now… it looks great. It feels great. I love the poly finish much better than glossy finishes I’ve used in the past. And, it looks fabulous in our living room. So pleased.

Side note… Has anyone tried the new panorama feature on the iOS 6 software for the iPhone. Look at this sweet picture of our family room.

Isn’t that fantastic? The room doesn’t look too bad either 😉

Graphic Design

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?)

*drumrollllllllllll*

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?