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Posts from the ‘Art’ Category

Save-the-Date Pulpboard Coasters

Hi everyone! So we finally got our coasters last week and we couldn’t be more pleased with how they turned out. If you’re having a casual wedding like us, coaster save-the-dates might fit the bill for you. They are fun and functional, and very fitting for a cocktail party reception. Letterpress printing adds another level of interest to it, transforming your message into a tactile piece of art.

I just finished sending these out to my portion of the guest list yesterday and I’m excited for everyone to receive it. Two things that Brian* and I agreed to incorporate in the design for the coasters: our pets, and typewriter-style fonts (he was very adamant about the latter). After we came to a consensus on the final design, I think the rest of the pieces came together pretty easily.

The coaster was designed in Illustrator. If you’re doing the same make sure to convert all the text into outlines (this is a neat trick that I had learned) prior to sending off the file to the letterpress folks. This alleviates font hassles, in case they don’t have the specific ones that you’re using.

Letterpress is fairly inexpensive contrary to popular belief. The trick is to limit your color palette. The more colors you incorporate in your design, the more expensive it gets. A color is counted every time a separate printing printing plate is needed, so if you’re a budget-conscious bride it’s best to keep things simple.

Our funny little postage stamp was Brian’s brilliant idea. It still cracks me up every now and then. Below are some photos of the final product (with some personal info deleted/blurred). I also included some info on where we had them made at the end of this post. I hope you’ll be inspired to make one for your own shindig. Cheers!

Original design: First Bar (all rights reserved!)
Letterpress printing: Laughing Owl Press
A2 kraft envelopes (100% recycled): Laughing Owl Press
Rubber stamp return address:
Awesome typewriter-style fonts that we used: Roger White Typewriter (the date on the coaster), and Typewriter Condensed (the address portion of the rubber stamp)
Colors used: Peach (Pantone DS 70-3U), and Brown (C55 M60 Y65 K40)


*I think this is the first time I’ve used Brian’s real name in this blog. Eh. I figured it’s about time you all get to know him!

Fat Quarters and an Award

So I would like to start off this blog post by giving a shout out to Veronica over at Agujas, for bestowing the Illuminating Blogger Award to First Bar. Thanks for the love Veronica! And in return I get to pass this on to 5 other bloggers too, which I will be announcing in a separate post. What a great community of people I have found here in the blogging world. You all are amazing.

On another note, my fabric proofs have arrived! I actually ordered these last month but haven’t had the chance to take photos of them. I am very excited with these and pleased at how they turned out. There are a few things I’d like to tweak before I make them available for purchase over at Spoonflower. In the meantime, here is a sneak preview (pardon the bad lighting). Oh and happy Fat Tuesday everyone!

Clockwise from the right:

Chinese Pistache in teal
Koi Fish
Japanese Maple
Chinese Pistache – grey
Ginkgo Biloba

Free Printable – Gift Tags

Oh the holidays. So many things to do but so little time to get them done. If you’re like me, you probably haven’t had the chance to do your Christmas shopping yet, don’t have a Christmas tree in the living room (we’re getting one this weekend, hopefully), and are getting more excited about hitting the ski slopes (the passes got 21” of snow overnight!) than going to the mall to battle with a crowd of rabid shoppers.

But if you’re less like me, then you must already be wrapping up presents and stacking them neatly under your tree. On that note, maybe you’ll find these gift tags useful. I entered this design into a Spoonflower weekly contest just for kicks. It’s not the festive kind of gift tags you normally use for the holidays but I think it can be fun and quirky, no?  You can use these for other occasions too. Think birthdays, or Chinese New Year even.

For the free printable, click HERE. Enjoy!

And if you think this design is cool, vote for it at Spoonflower! While there be sure to check out some amazing entries from other designers as well, and vote for them too.

Have a great weekend people!

gift tags

Textile Design – Chinese Pistache

Ola! It’s been a busy week so far I can’t believe it’s only Wednesday. I think the boy feels the same way and has decided to call it a night at 9:30 (which is unusually early in this household). But since I cannot will myself to go to sleep, I’ll take this opportunity to share with you my second installment of textile designs while watching the SNL Christmas special on television. Although now I’m realizing that I’ve been sitting here for two commercial breaks in a row and haven’t gotten anywhere with this post, and that is why I’m putting the television into mute mode for now.

The Chinese Pistache is a tree in the cashew family that has pinnate leaves that turn scarlet in the fall, and is planted in urban settings for it’s attractive autumn foliage. The first time I saw these trees was in a magazine and I thought they looked gorgeous. I think the leaf arrangement itself is interesting. For the following designs however I decided against using red and tried different colors to give it a modern spin. I think it’s more fun when things aren’t too literal, no?

Textile Design – Koi Fish

Hello everyone! Sorry for not posting in over two weeks, which in blogger time is more like 2 months.  Hope you’re still there and haven’t unfollowed me yet. It seems like I had lost my momentum after the elections and all the natural calamities  that have recently happened. And by natural calamities I’m not talking about the Patraeus scandals.

Anyhow I have been fairly busy at work and at home as well, but I did find some time over the week to work on a few textile designs. I’m pretty excited about this one. Growing up I always loved watching koi fish in fancy ponds and remember how excited I would be when I saw one. Did you know that Koi fish, or more appropriately called nishikigoi in Japanese, can live up to 50 years? And that if you release them in the wild they lose their coloring over just a few generations? I just recently found out about this last bit. I personally prefer them to remain the domesticated fish that they are and keep their bright coloring. And the ponds look better with them in it!

Autumn Inspired Textiles

I hope that everyone is faring well on this first day of the end of daylight savings time. I suppose some of you took advantage of the extra hour to sleep in today. As for me, my day today was off to an early start. It’s usually my turn to walk the dog on the weekends and Hudson’s internal clock has not quite reset itself yet, so by 5 am she was already whining to be let out. But it’s nice having that little bit of daylight around that time now.

I also discovered that I can actually get a lot more done in the early mornings when Breezy is still asleep, and after the dog gets her breakfast she usually jumps back into bed, so I decided to take advantage of this quiet time to work on some textile designs. This was a LOT of fun. I can easily get sucked into this all day. Below is the first installment of tileable swatches that I was able to create from about 7 to 10 am. Then everyone started waking up.

What do you think? I hope you like them. Stay tuned for more designs!

Ginkgo Biloba

Japanese Maple

Well Look Who’s Drawing Again

A coworker-friend of mine commissioned me to do portraits of her two dogs and I figured this would be a great opportunity for me to get back into drawing. This is the first half of the bargain that I finished today, to add to my online art portfolio. Isn’t he a cutie?

Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday!

*Cosmo Pen and Ink and Watercolor on 140 lb cold pressed paper

Panda Art!

graphic art for Statewide Poverty Action Network‘s annual mother’s day card fundraiser

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