Evolution of a Blog

Even though I’ve been terrible about maintaining my blog, it is still my baby that I’ve poured tons of sweat and love into (in that order, haha) over the last few years. I went through a long period of customizations to try to get it just right, and sometimes I still think about changing something – the layout, the background, or my favorite customization – the header.

Gah. The header!

This picture tells a lot of the story. It is a snap shot of my MOST RECENT header uploads on WordPress. As in, not even close to all of the headers I have uploaded over the past three years.

Many Headers

Did I mention the 20-some layers on Photoshop? Or all the adjustments? Or files?

But in the process of making this labor of love come to fruition, I also learned so much about Photoshop and my personal tastes. In fact, I started exploring Photoshop for this exact reason – making a professional-looking header – and it is what led me to start creating custom invitations. I’ve said many times that I feel a creative and artistic pull but don’t necessarily know where it should take me, and digital design is something I’ve come to see as a “talent”. I still have a lot to learn, sans doute, but I have finally found an artistic means through which I can (usually) express what I actually see in my head.

Even though I felt like shoving my head through my monitor at times, I seriously am SO grateful for the opportunity to learn this art and how to express myself!

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The Courtney Invitation

Hate to post and run, but I had to share a quick pic!

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One of my sisters needed awesome wedding invitations on a budget, so I stepped in to help. This is what we came up with and this is the final execution (with a professional print job to boot) – they look super expensive, and they were my labor of love for months. I am finally confident enough to share them with you because she absolutely loves them! Please excuse the not-so-high-def pic – it was an iPhone pic on my way to get the packaging for shipping. These will be coming back to Etsy soon, so please convo me if you are interested.

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Free Printable: 2 Samuel

When I was a little girl, my dad had me memorize many different bible verses, and the very first one I learned was 2 Samuel 22:4. This verse, throughout my entire life, has reminded me that God is there and even when I stray, he is powerful enough to save me if I reach out to Him. So, I created a fun printable that you can download and print. As always, the image displayed below is a low-res version – if you click on the picture, you’ll see the high-res version to save and/or print. I always make my posters at least 200 dpi so you can print them up to 11 x 17.

Happy Doggie Birthday!

One of the contest winners, Celesta, wanted me to design invitations for her awesome dogs’ first birthday. And these aren’t just any dogs — they are beautiful Weimereiners! When she sent me a picture to capture their playful personality, I couldn’t resist creating this fun and cute card. Check out Arya and Avery 🙂

Circus Party Invitations and Party Ideas

In the midst of my Pinterest-inspired mommy freakout earlier this week on Facebook (thanks, by the way, to all of my friends who calmed me down!), I decided to change the theme of Clark’s birthday party. I had originally planned to have a Sesame Street party for him, but the truth is, he doesn’t really care for Sesame Street, and I couldn’t stand the thought of his party being something he didn’t care for. Yes, I realize that he’s only going to be two and chances are that he won’t remember it, but he can still react in the moment and I want him to say “wow” like he does so often at home over things he loves.

So, I picked a circus theme. It’s not necessarily something that he loves, but it is definitely something that I can wow him with and not spend a ton of money. We’ve already rented a park shelter, so I took some pics yesterday with my phone and did some quick Photoshopping. Here’s the basic plan, using cheap 100′ rolls of striped plastic tablecloths. This isn’t the whole plan, just the basics. We have to leave the grill area open as well as the side (so that we can play in the grass and see the playground) but I think it will feel luxurious, personalized, and exotic for very cheap. The pennant bunting symbolizes his birthday banners that I made last year, and the train pic on the back wall is just a placeholder for some kind of posters that I’ll paint of a train of animals. I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with the circus ring yet.

Of course, this meant a total redesign of the invitations as well, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how they turned out! I’ll be selling them in my Etsy shop as well if anyone is interested.

Seriously, I lurrrrve them so much! They look way more impressive on paper than digitally.