Thursday, June 30, 2011

My free handwritten font!

Let's continue with the "free stuff" theme here... why not.

I'm slightly obsessed with typography (it's my favorite part of design!), so making my own font has always been on my radar of things to do. I finally started the process a little while ago and have been finalizing on my first creation... a spin-off on my handwriting.

Well, it's finally ready! I figured I'd share it with you all, because who doesn't love a free font? Especially a good handwritten one complete with numbers and punctuation. I'm always on the lookout for those.

Here's my font preview:

You can download it (for free!) here.

UPDATE: There won't be any modifications to this font (sorry, international friends!) but I am working on a new similar font which will have a complete character set with lots of glyphs. Keep checking back for the official release!

UPDATE 2: Yep, I've already submitted it to Google fonts!

While we're on the subject of type... I recently had a customer ask me to design her a poem for a friend's baby shower (she's having a little girl named Eleanor). I had so much fun with it and she was so pleased with the results, I decided to turn it into a template for my shop! Here's how hers turned out:

Isn't it such a thoughtful gift? I think her friend will love it! You can find the new (completely customizable) design here.

Well, I'm off to bed... our AC just broke and it's about 100 degrees inside with 200% humidity... I think it's causing my computer to malfunction... along with my brain... I might have to sleep in the pool tonight... hurry up 3-day weekend!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Who likes free stuff?

Guess what?

It’s free print time!

I’m excited to announce my latest shop feature & giveaway hosted by Danielle at Breakfast at Toast. For those of you who missed my shop grand opening giveaway, now is your chance to score some new art for your home! The winner will receive a $25 credit towards anything in my etsy shop. You can enter by leaving a comment on her page (earn an extra entry for following me on facebook!)

This giveaway comes at just the right time for me to introduce my newest design: a custom sketch of your home!

I’m always looking for new options to display important pieces of life and capture them in unique ways on print. I love the personal feel of hand sketched art and thought it would be neat to re-create your house (or special building, landmark, etc) in that style.

As with all my prints, I took it a step further and provided color options so that you can custom match it to fit your d├ęcor and color scheme! I’ve played around with it a lot and you can come up with some really cool two-tone looks with different combinations.

Just for fun I made one of our house! Now I just need to find a good place for it…

That’s the latest update from the shop! It’s getting busier every day and I’m SO grateful and still in awe that I am able to live out this little dream of mine. I think it’s even inspired Brad (or maybe it’s just the lack of jobs in this town) because he just started working on his own business endeavor… I couldn’t be more proud of him, and our fingers are tightly crossed that both of us can continue to do what we love (and make a living at it, so we don’t have to move!)

I have a little personal project in the works for you guys… should be ready next week once I work out the final bugs, can’t wait! Now go enter the contest! :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Abstract painting DIY-over

First of all... Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! I want to give a special shout-out to the greatest one who ever lived (no, seriously.... he is)... my daddy :)

Christmas 2006 on New Melones Lake... remember this dad?
Moving along....

Remember these paintings I did back in February?

Well, I was over them. They ended up drying a looot darker and brighter than they appeared while I was painting, and I was way too exhausted to change it that day. So they've been hanging there like that ever since.

With the recent life events, I need to start focusing on smaller (read: cheaper) projects around here since the big stuff is put on hold for now. I knew it would be the perfect time to re-do these paintings that have been bugging me for months.

I stumbled upon this picture somewhere on the internet (I really can't remember where) and I fell in looooooove with these paintings (or maybe it's just one big painting?):

It became my new official inspiration.

I noticed that the paintings seemed to have an iridescent/metallic-like quality to them. So I took a trip to Michael's to pick up some additive to give it that sheen (I also picked up a tube of black to give the colors a hint of gray, and some new brushes):

Total cost (with a 50% off coupon, of course): $11.75. Not bad.

So I took the paintings down and got to work.

Again, I had no plan or technique beforehand... I just started brushing and crossed my fingers it would bear some sort of resemblance to my inspiration pic.

Here's how the first one turned out (next to the original for comparision):

After repainting two canvases, I noticed they started to dry darker (oops, forgot) so I ended up redoing them again. This was not an easy process for me—trying to smoothly blend paint into a gradient without seeing a bunch of brush strokes with acrylic paint. So after two failed attemps, in frustration I just started squeezing a bunch of paint onto the canvas and smearing it around. Surprisingly, it seemed to work. So by the fourth and final canvas (which is six attemps if you count the two failed ones), I had the technique down.

So if anyone at home is planning to take on a similar project... here's the key with acrylics: LOTS of paint, plenty of water, and work while it's still wet.

In the midst of my painting madness, I looked up to find a familiar face:

Apparently Harry has a thing for the arts (last time he came this close was with my first painting experience).

He watched me paint for a good 30 minutes... while Susie watched him.

Pretty sure Harry could eat her.

At one point he started doing some sort of mating dance...

Can anyone speak bird? Does this means he loves my paintings?

Anyway... progress shot, 75% done:

A note on the iridescent additive: didn't do as much as I thought. Up close and in the right lighting you can tell, but in flat lighting, you'd never know it. Sigh, oh well, learning experience.

And finally, the finished product!

I'm much happier with these new colors. They are a lot more calming and less "look at me!" on the walls. Hopefully I don't change my mind cause I realllly don't want to go through a round 3 of this.

But I think these will stick around for a while :)

I've got a few fun things lined up for this week... so stay tuned!

(Pssst...the latest on the job search for those of you wondering is.. not looking great. Nothing promising as far as full-time work yet... please keep your fingers crossed for us!)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Well... it was nice while lasted.

Since starting our new life here in Florida I've pretty much been in constant pinch-me mode. Life has never been better. We have a house I can't wait to come home to every day that is slowly becoming my dream home, the best neighbors you could ask for, great weather, a great city, a brand new kitty, my new dream job that is becoming a reality... every day is better than the last.

I knew it couldn't be like this forever. No one has life go exactly as planned for this long without hitting speed bumps now and then. Well, the gracious fairies of good luck finally decided our time was up.

Brad lost his job this morning. It was completely unexpected. This was our biggest fear when we dropped everything to move across the country. Now after investing so much time, money and emotion into this house and building better a life for us, we must put it all on hold. No more house projects. No more plans for the future.

Right now we must focus on keeping our expenses down and doing everything in our power to find Brad a new job. We're not strangers to this process, we went through it more than once last year and that's how we eventually ended up in Florida.

I know the job market is tough right now, especially since we don't live in a city ripe with work in Brad's field, but we're holding out hope. I can't accept the alternative... which is giving up our home and possibly moving back to California.

Anyway, not to make this blog a pity party, but all of our pending house projects have been brought to a halt.

I promise I'll use this opportunity to find some smaller things I've been meaning to do around the house, so I'll still be blogging... just bear with me while our big plans are (temporarily) sidelined.

Thanks for reading :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

We're back... with a new kitchen!

Our plane touched down in Florida yesterday evening.

It was sad to leave such a happy vacation, but good to be home to Susie and some major improvements to the house!

We walked into the kitchen to find this...

New floor tile and backsplash! Big change from when we left. I'm kind of in love with this floor tile... it looks so much like travertine, but it's actually porcelain which is great for easy maintenance.

And our backsplash glass tile turned out nice too... although our tile guy had some issues cutting clean edges so we're going to have him re-do some areas.

We used the same floor tile in the foyer:

And in the guest bathroom (along with a new dual flush white toilet):

So our house had a fairly productive week. There's so many more projects to tackle right away... I don't know what to do next! On the immediate to-do list is a new vanity/mirror/repaint of the guest bath, open shelving and cabinet paint in the kitchen, refinish a new dining table, and complete master bath overhaul. Those should all be done this summer, if not sooner! We'll see what we can pull of for next weekend... stay tuned :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Greetings from Mississippi!

I'm blogging this morning from a tiny speck on the map somewhere in the Mississippi countryside. The temps are hot, the air is thick and the kitties are abundant. Loving my week off!

The best part is... while we're relaxing here, our kitchen, foyer and guest bathroom are getting new tile. Excited to come home next Saturday to see the results!

Here is the tile we chose for all three spaces (sorry for the cell phone pics):

It's the bottom layout, in that same tile pattern. The color up close is a blend of greys and tans which is exactly what I was looking for to balance out the warms and cools in the house.

I also finally picked out our backsplash!

This isn't actually the tile pattern but it's the same color. I opted for the 3"x6" subway tile because I had my heart set on subway from day one. I trashed the idea of stone after realizing that a) I couldn't find a color I liked that wasn't too busy next to the granite, and b) stone counter + stone floors + stone backsplash is just too much stone for me.

The color is a warm silvery shade that pulls directly from base tones in the counters. I spent a while looking for the perfect shade to match and finally found it via the Lowe's custom order catalog. Unfortunately it doesn't come cheap, but it's worth it in the end to get something you really love!

As for the guest bathroom, I've never really posted pics of it but I managed to snap a couple before shots before the demo began:

Here's after Brad took a hammer to it:

On Saturday we'll come home to new floors and a new white toilet, hallelujah! Next we just have to find a vanity, mirror and lighting and we'll have made some significant improvements.

We've only been gone two days and I already miss this girl like crazy....

New collar via etsy

But Susie was a bad kitty. She used her claws for evil and tried to climb our dresser with devastating results. So we took care of the problem.

For $1.72... best invesment EVER. And she still loves us :)

Be back with after pics next week!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I won something!

Bobi over at shoestring sophistication just awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award! I’m pleasantly surprised that something in my house is worthy of an award, but hey I’ll take it :)

I’ve been following her projects on her blog and on the nest and she produces some seriously gorgeous stuff! In fact, she put recently up board and batten in her hallway which was even more motivation for me to get the ball rolling on mine. Thanks for the inspiration and the award Bobi!

Here are the rules for the award recipients:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their site in your original post
2.  Tell us seven things about yourself
3. Pass along the award to five newly discovered bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and let them know they got this award

Here’s my seven fun facts….

1. Before my life as an obsessed home renovator, I was equally as obsessed (ok, a lot more actually) with my car. It started in high school and became a full on addiction by college. I spent every second of my free time at car meets, working on the car, at the drag strips, etc… I even had a matching street bike. Anyone who knew me from age 16 to 24 can attest to how nuts I was. In fact, it was at a car meet where I met Brad in 2007 (he had a 1000hp twin turbo supra and it was love at first sight.) Luckily our love lasted beyond the track and we’re now happily married!

Anyway, I could go on forever, but here’s a pic of my babies together:

Ok one more... here we are together at a show:

Moment of silence please for their absence.

Moving on.

2. Myself, my mom and my grandpa were all born in the same hospital in San Francisco (shout out to the bay area!)

3. My mom, my dad and my grandpa are all in the real estate business (see, it’s in my blood, it was bound to happen…)

4. I was grew up and was baptized Mormon but have since retired due to love of 2 piece bikinis and wine.

5. I sometimes spend hours on google earth zooming in to every tropical island in the world to scope out my future residences. Yes, I plan on becoming independently wealthy and buying an island.

6. In second grade I wrote a story about clouds for a state wide contest and won. My story was made into a TV special and I got chauffeured to the state capital in a limo (I vividly remember this), a special school assembly in my honor and won my class a field trip to a dairy farm.

7. My dream job for the past couple years has been to become a house flipper and/or landlord (which we’ve already started with our LA properties) but now it looks like this Etsy thing will become my full time gig soon. And I couldn’t be happier.

So that’s probably more than you wanted to know about me, but now that that’s out of the way, time to pass the award along to five bloggers who inspire me!

1. Breakfast at toast
2. Domestic Jenny
3. Cameras and Chaos
4. Involving Color
5. Bova Goods

These are some of my new favorites... go check them out!