Tuesday, October 8, 2013

To Re-Create was the Answer!

Copyright 2013 AJD
Well its finally finished. I have created from scratch, a holiday card to share with you all.  I sketched every aspect of the card and then used the computer to color in the areas that I felt should have some color. And like every other retail and commercial venue; I've brought Christmas to life before Halloween has even arrived! So Sorry, but it must be done for companies, small businesses and even that savoy mom who is on the ball and already has half her Christmas shopping done, I have to make available what I have to offer before everyone else has finished before it has started.
Now when it comes to the design aspect of this cute little holiday greeting card, I  thought the design came out good. Very personal, old school and vintage-ish. Reminds me a little of Charlie Brown cartoons, in the way it isn't perfect; actually drawn artwork instead of the computer generated images. Something you might see if you look back at old greeting cards your grandmother or great-grandmother might have had in a hope chest. Then again it may be too up-to-date to be considered that vintage or retro. But I'm in love with my second hand drawn snowflake I've done within the past few years and this one, once drawn, scanned and colorized via Photoshop, almost as the sense of a rubber stamp pressed into the card instead of an actual drawn element. Too Cool I'd say!

So I hope you love them as much as I do, and want to share that holiday spirit with all your loved ones this season.

I've decided to sell them in sets of a dozen for $10. Envelopes are included for this 4.25x5.5" vertical card. Shipping is separate. All you have to do is comment here on how many sets you would like and once payment is complete, your cards will be on their way. You can email me also at Jolenemc08@outlook.com with your order.

All payments will be accepted through Pay Pal, my account information will be sent to those who place an order.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

To Re-Sell or To Re-Create? That is the Question!

Part One:

The great thing about being a designer from home is that no sleepless hour is ever wasted. I had over done it the other day and my back was paying for it! So to ware down the sleepless hours waiting for the meds to go to work, I had the opportunity to curl up on the couch and sketch. One of my favorite hobbies is to sketch, though I'm no trained illustrator, I do have moments of brilliance when a sketch leads to a great idea or can even be useful as a piece of art within a design I am working on.

Copyright 2011 AJD
And the design in question at the moment, is whether or not to create a new Christmas/holiday greeting card to sell this year. Two years ago I hand sketched then computer rendered a winter scene greeting card and put them up for sale. You ordered, I printed, mailed them out and you had a one-of-a-kind holiday card to send to your friends and family. My grandma was nice enough to buy some to send to her friends and family that year. But I was still very new to the blog world and didn't get much attention. Two years later, I'm wondering if it's time to try again?

Copyright 2013 AJD
I started sketching snowflakes, ornaments and such that sleepless night and so far love my sketches and the progress that they are heading in, but do they inspire? Does it make someone want to share the joy they see in the image with others?

Here was my beginning sketch work and brainstorm: ----->

Now I have scanned, perfected and started to rearrange the items already from this sketch, but the light bulb hasn't gone off yet for the one moment of perfect balance, that I want to share with the world. Though my daughter thinks my ideas so far "are so pretty" and in her eyes I can draw the world; got to love the praise from the little ones. But I hope to keep at it throughout the weekend and get the time needed to really transform my love of a "blue winter wonderland" into a greeting card to sell to all of you.

I'll keep you posted on the progress.

And on a side note: how much would you pay for 25 - 4"x5" greeting cards with envelopes?

Talk to you soon! Hope the first week of Autumn has been a good one!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Autumn Colors

With less then a week before Autumn is officially upon us, we have to question whether mother nature is aware of what the calendar claims.  We here in California and probably many states/countries, would love to feel like autumn is about to start. We would love to feel cooler days, the ability to cuddle up on the couch at night, under a blanket, and to watch the "colors" of autumn start to appear.

Colors of autumn are one of my favorites to decorate with. My house is naturally decorated in the darker reds, olive greens and harvest oranges with great accents of chocolate brown and toupee/beige.  So when Autumn arrives  I can't wait to pull out the extra colors of fall and decorate for autumn for two months straight. I start the first week of October and go til the weekend after thanksgiving. Its so easy and really gives the feel of different seasons from within, even if the weather outside is not on the same page.

Greetings for Autumn - $2.00 per card 8"x5"
When I think about the "colors" of Autumn I think golden yellows, harvest oranges, burnt reds, and even a hint of olive greens. But I realize that commercially (within the retail stores) October is all but an array of orange (October being Halloween, Halloween means pumpkins, Pumpkins are orange) and it isn't till November that the real range of great colors seem to show up. So to celebrate the need for more "Colors" of Autumn, here is a large greeting card for Sale. Feel free to contact me via email to place your order of Autumn cards.****  Jolenemc08@outlook.com

The lack of such colors is a pity though, for before we even get into October, Christmas decorations are upon us with no real chance to enjoy the love of autumn without worrying about the stress of the holidays. So with that I will not start the selling of my Holiday cards here, just yet, for I even have to decide whether to pull my favorite hand stretch card design to resell or create a new one for this season. But I better start soon for though I would love to enjoy the Autumn season, the retail world beckons and if i want my slice of the pie I have to produce early. But no worries I'll talk more about that next time.

So enjoy the last week of Summer, prepare for the Season of Fall and get creative with your sparks of Autumn around your home. I'll post my decorative moments within the beginning of October as I finish the porch, and the fireplace mantel.

Thanks for reading, talk to you soon!

**** Cards are printed 2 or 4 up per sheet, each sheet costing $4. Orders over 50 cards, are $3.40 per sheet. Envelopes included, payments received via Pay Pal. Shipping $10 for under 50 cards, $15 for 50-100 cards. Larger orders to be quoted.

Keep your eyes open for this next post:

   To Re-Sell or To Re-Create? That is the Question!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Great book cover designs for The Sunwright Chronicles

Over the past year, I was blessed with the opportunity to create the covers for a new series of books. The local writer is a gifted fantasy writer and has already published one of the many books in this great series, into the e-book world: The Sunwright Chronicles, Lifting the Veil of Tyranny.

After its first release, as many new artist do, we start to rethink what we created and want to perfect it. The book was good but once he started to write the second and third books, he realized the cover was too generic and the book could use a little more work. So the book was edited and I was called upon to consult on his vision.

We brainstormed for a few hours and worked out elements we felt would work throughout multiple book covers. Visuals that might stand out or fade out through each cover; black and white or color images, and even the layout of the title and text styles. We wanted the covers to work both with the many online thumbnails and still work beautifully once printed into the hardback format.

As you can see we decided that the black and white style with pops of color should do the trick, not to just grab attention on the screen but to go with the feel of the story line.

The second book is in the final editing stages with a new publisher who will hopefully take the local writer to new heights and great success; with the second book cover already created and approved. Again black and white, a similar character and pops of color to grab your attention. I can't wait to start the creation of the third and fourth books with my creative juices challenged to create new pieces of art.

While this second book is being completed, follow the local writer Kevin Villegas around with his other great love - gaming:
Twitch TV with Kevm30. And if you have a love for fiction fantasy stories, keep your eyes out for these two books to surface within the near future.

I hope the book covers inspire you to challenge your creative juices and create any piece of artwork; whether on a wall for a baby's room, the front of a spiral notebook or a wonderful page in a scrapbook. For creative moments don't have to be on a computer, they don't have to be done with a mouse. Use your imagination and anythiny, or everything, you have in your house; there is no limit to your creative vision.

Thanks for reading, hope to have more creative moments to share with you soon!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Patches at their basics.......

As I promised, here are some of the things I have created over the past five months. 

One of the cool things I was able to design this summer was "participation" patches for a local girl scout service unit and the Hollister Downtown Association's lights on celebration.

The first patch, was a sequel to the Fall clean up patch I designed back in November. So though cute and bright it was a simple design. And what I love about designing patches is that you have to create the design by keeping the print/creation process for these patches in the for front of your mind. They stitch these patches, and so the lines have to be simple, and the shapes clean, or in what we call "vector" format. It's back to basic geometric shapes. No shading, no exaggerated depth, you have to create the appearance of two or even three dimension with layers and layers of simple shapes. For example, to get the feel of say a rose, you'd create it by placing circles semi behind circles, in an off center pattern.

Now these patches are very simple and with the right pieces layered in just the right places there is at least a feel of two dimension. I hope they love it and it gives them something cute to look at to help the girls remember this event that they participated in; while keeping the cost of these patches to a reasonable price for the service unit, leaders and parents.

Another great patch I was able to create this summer was for our HDA: Hollister Downtown Association. They organize the annual "Lights on Celebrations"  here in Hollister, CA. This year they were bringing together a program/event for the Girl and Boy scouts of America to participate in. When they accomplish a number of good deeds from a select list, they'll earn this really cool patch.

It's still in progress but here is what direction we started in. Again we kept to simple lines and basic shapes to give the feel of dimension for such a normally textured item (the badge). By using circles and rectangles we could help separate out sections of the badge that we wanted to give a little more attention to. I hope that with a few more tweaks this becomes a annual patch to be used for years to come.

Well that is it for the patch designs this summer. Next post I hope to share my e-book cover art, that I was asked to create for a gifted local writer. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Missing the shared moments of creativity

Hello followers and new comers, it's been awhile.

I feel so bad that I haven't written in months. Being an at home mom has taken up more of my time then I ever thought. My littlest one never seems to like it when I'm on the computer and my oldest is getting busier and busier with each passing year.

But fear not, that doesn't mean I haven't done anything creative. I've designed patches for our local girl scout service unit and downtown association events. I've helped a small business or two regroup their logo and designed a ebook cover or two since I last wrote. I've even created cafe curtains, painted artsy shelves and started a small two foot by two foot quilt.

I just haven't had the time to write about it as I would like. For writing is not my best talent as I've mentioned earlier in my blog
adventures, so when I write I want it to be insightful, colorful and well laid out in a way that is as creative as I strive to be.

With that being said, I hope you haven't completely given up on me and continue to see what I have to say and share. Though it's not the beginning of a new calendar year, it is the beginning of a new school year and with that, I hope a lot of new improvements and achievements for this creative mother of two.

With many creative moments to share

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sammie's Bedroom Re-Do Part 2

Well its official: My daughter's room is finally DONE!

Furniture rearranged, craft wall and corner organized, toys in place for maximized play space and the decorations for this girlie tomboy of 6 years old is complete!

As mentioned in part 1, a new placement of furniture and toys was defiantly needed after three weeks of Christmas break and new toys arriving. Once that was in place it was finding among the boxes all the precious elements that Sammie adored.

Shelves went up, butterflies were hung and drapes were created with the help from Pink Chalk Fabrics wonderful stock of new fabrics. And with the last touch of a new ceiling fan that she picked out herself, the room was completed on Sunday!

It feels like years in the making to get her room back to the fun personal space she once enjoyed, but it has all been worth it.

Now with one girlie room complete, another one sits on the horizon with lots of flowers and butterflies to come!

Hope to have some new design elements for you to enjoy by April.

Happy Spring!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

How to know when a Logo is the Right One

I love when a design I create for a company, whether it be a logo, business card or blog header, turns itself into the necessary business literature a company needs with ease.

A good sign that a design is universal or properly branded, is when you can transform that imagery from logo to business card to letterhead, etc... without losing it's meaning (along with an necessary elements to make it fit or produce).

A logo is not a good logo if too many elements cannot be moved around, converted to black and white or reshaped to fit another need and still look like the original logo/branding.

Branding is about giving a company or a set of services something to help others identify with. So when a  logo is to be created for a business the designer should always keep in mind where the client will want to use that logo; business cards, letterhead, websites, signs, advertisements, mass mailers, apparel, etc.... If the logo cannot be simply transformed from one need to the next, then the logo is not a successful branding for the company or set of services.

A great example of creating a design that so far as lent itself to work well, is the blog header for Buttons, Bows, & Bling

I have made a header that has led to business cards, given us the ground work for a gadget placed on her newer blog page and of course a great center piece to the blog itself. And only time will tell whether or not this great design is really a branding in disguise, as her needs change and grow.

Another great example, that I have been given the privilege to create over the years was for Enhanced Concrete. I loved creating their business literature, from Business cards and  letterhead to door hangers, for the logo had potential and diversity. Along with a color palette that let me identify different mass mailers and business literature with one of three colors when needed. 

All Rights reserved by Enhanced Concrete, Copyright 2004. 

SO if you are going to create yourself a look, logo or image for a set of services you provide or a brand new company, make sure to always keep in mind how you want to share that logo or image with the world and will it translate from one medium (paper to cloth to web) to another with ease and not lose its meaning along the way.

Thanks for reading. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sammie's Bedroom Re-Do Part 1

In the new year we bought my oldest a new bed. We thought that we would just put it in the same location as the old bed. But with the addition of a Slide to this new loft bed setup, we lost a whole wall of usable play storage and display space. We couldn't have that. So a reorganize was in order.

I haven't finished all aspects of the decor yet, but all is organized in a place that makes the most sense and gets the most storage too.

So I will share a few areas that are complete; Her wall of toy storage and Barbie corner, the reading cottage under the loft bed, AND the newly added craft area.

To start out, we moved the bed from its original placement and decided to place the slide under the window (will show that off later).  With the window wall being a half wall of storage space, what better place then here to put a slide. Which now freed up the second longest wall in the room for toys, storage and play space on the floor. Along with some wonderfully colorful canvas fabric artwork made by Grammie.

This wall makes up a good portion of our hallway too.
With the bed now adjacent to the window and the odd slide piece now under the window, a great reading cottage, or cottage library, was created. 

a 26" x 40" bookshelf and highly loved pillow pets make it a great use of loft space

Sammie just adores this little piece of heaven. We read in this cottage library every night.

And last but not least (with still two walls to decorate) Is the ever inspired craft corner. I have to thank iheartorganizing for inspiring me to look outside the box, and use something with a new purpose to house many craft supplies for one 6 year old girl (and out of reach of a 18 month old little hands)

I didn't have a lot of time to look and very little money. I started at Target, and low and behold, there was the most unexpected item to do just what I needed it to do; a closet door organizer for shoes, and other random closet items. PERFECT! (only $10 too)

It fit coloring books where flip flops or flat shoes could go. There were pockets for markers, pens, color pencils, and paint. Mini holders for glue sticks and erasers. And with Velcro and hooks, the list of possibilities seemed endless.  The transformation was awesome. Many little boxes and a table turned into a wall of creativity with a place to dream!

cluttered mess after Christmas, new furniture layout, to creative work space!

I couldn't be more happy with all the little aspects of a room that is now loved, adored, and played in with ease many hours of the week. I still need to decorate above the bed and curtains still to be made; fabric choices are being discussed and now need to be found, sammie is a very imaginative designer.

So look for those design moments by late February....I hope! Everyone try to stay healthy and happy for the stomach bug took my family for a loop two weeks ago and I wish that flu on no one.... :)

Thanks for reading. Share with you soon!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Well if it worked the first time....

Well if it worked the first time, let's try it again!

After a little over a year, a client out mine decided to start a second blog, that's right a second blog. The first one has gone really well but she felt it was time to divide and conquer. She covers such a wide spectrum of creativity with her first blog that she felt it was time create a second blog to help give each blog it's own specialty.

Buttons, Bows & Bling has a wonderful collage type header of everything fabric and sewing that it will need no introductions to what she will write and share about: the header sews it all.

Her newest blog will cover everything else she loves to do:

Create. Upcylce. Decorate. Organize
She's not just a master seamstress but a talented woman that has a great knack for creating wonderful things out of old things, the out of the box thinking created from new things, and the love of organizing to make any ordinary space into the most useful one that she needs. With this newer blog, she'll be able to highlight these great skills leaving the fabric and sewing projects to the Buttons, Bows and Bling blog.

All the creative aspects of her life, represented on two amazing blogs.

And to top off all this amazing creativity, I had the wonderful opportunity to design the blog headers and set up her blog pages.

Hooray for my graphic design skills!

She is also the inspiration behind my last post and the re-do of my blog. Love when inspiration and the drive to improve ones self, comes from the skills you have to help someone else reach their goals that they set for them self. 

As you can see, the headers are very different in their styles with a only a few small elements that are similar to give you the sense that they are both from the same blogger.  The love for these bright colors is the common thread from one blog to another, but the essence and direction of each header I created are drastically different. One is full, vibrant, creatively busy and leaves you wanting to read more about all the wonderful creations that come from her studio. The other is light, whimsical, refreshing and motives you to want to try new things with the items you already posses.

I hope you get the opportunity to read them both and enjoy all her creativity as much as I have over the past year.

On other news, Sammie's bedroom makeover is almost done and I can't wait to share all the little aspects of that adventure, very soon!

Thanks for reading

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Windows of Creativity

When I get the privilege of working with a client (new or old) I love the windows of creativity that open up in front of me.

It seems that anyone within a service job always leaves themselves last on the list of things to do. A mechanic may leave his car at the bottom of  his mental "to do list". A Seamstress's pile of repairs for herself may go unnoticed until everyone else is taken care of, and a graphic designer may not update or improve on his or her designs and business essentials until, well... it hits them smack between the eyes.

As I work with a small company that needs a new brochure, blog header or mass mailer, it's a amazing to me how the wheels start turning about my own business and design needs; "maybe that technic will work with my images..." or "why didn't I try that layout combo with my business cards?" Being a graphic designer, I get the opportunity to try all the new technics and skills of designing, on my business first. But for some reason rarely ever do. It takes the brilliance of a new logo or brochure that I have created for a new business, that finally inspires me to take the leap and put that same brilliant talent into my own work and appearance.

Hence.... the reason and inspiration for the updated header above, the fine tuning of the elements within the blog and hopefully many more great post to come in the future for you all to read.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Happy New Year Followers!

Well it has been awhile and a lot has kept me away from blogging and designing.

New house, holidays and well two little girls.

But as the new year has finally arrived (along with really cold weather for California), I have many projects ahead of me. I hope to get some of them up and ready for you to read. Some are creative DIY moments in the girls rooms inspired from other wonderful blogs;  iheartorganizing is just one for example. When other moments are actually graphic designed based; working on creating another header and blog page for a client, random Girl Scout pieces for a local troop and cover art for an e-book series.

Though I'm not sure how often I'll blog, I'll try to be as consistent as possible. (maybe once a month is reasonable, though would love to write and share more)

I hope you all have had a great holiday season, that the year ended with many goals accomplished and that the New Year brings only great adventures and many blessings!

Share with you soon!
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