Gerber Onesies: Mustache, Aviators, Succulents and Chanel

Idea:

I’m visiting my friend Dina and 1 month old Sofie today! Insert swoon face emoji here. My mom always said never visit someone’s home empty handed. Though my mom has never said it, I know she prefers to give a practical gift that will be used and abused over a pretty something. Each passing year has shown that I am my mother’s daughter.

I’ve been told by many mommies that their babies lived in their Onesies for a good part of their first few months. I couldn’t find a Onesies with the design and price I liked enough to give to the minimalist Dina so I assigned myself project.

Inspiration:

Last year I hand-printed shirts for Dina’s Bachelorette Party. Using the same ink and technique, I designed prints that were close to my heart and quick to produce (I only came up with the idea late eyesterday evening).

Ingredients:

  1. Tulip Soft Fabric Paint Metallic Gold
  2. Reynolds Freezer Paper
  3. Silhouette SD
  4. Iron
  5. Cardboard /  Something to line the back incase the fabric paint bleeds

Instructions:

  1. Prepare your design in Silhouette Studio.  Keep in mind the negative cuttings space will be used as the stencil.  Leave an 1″ + border of blank space around your design.  This will help avoid accidentally bleeding the paint to the outside of the design while painting.  I recommend that grouping of cuts be kept to a minimum.  For this project I grouped the mustache with the succulent and the chanel with the aviator sunglasses.  Freezer paper has a tendency to lift off the most tacky cutting mats once cuts are made.  Paper that lifts off the cutting mat can get caught and possibly damage your Silhouette machine.
  2. Place freezer paper wax side down on the cutting mat.  I recommend flattening your freezer paper if it came in a roll and ensuring the entire paper adheres to the cutting mat.  Rolled paper on an un-tacky mat will always lift from the cutting mat.
  3. Cut.  If you are using the latest Silhouette Ratchet-Style Blade, use a Material Type that calls for a blade setting of 2.  I selected ‘Heat Transfer Material – Smooth’.  Because my freezer paper was 15″ long, I cut the mustache and succulent on the top 6″, flipped the cutting mat upside down and cut the chanel and aviator sunglasses on the bottom 6″. Note that both designs were placed at the top 6″ of the mat.
  4. Place the onesie on an iron-safe surface.
  5. Place the cut stencil wax / shiny side down on the onesie.  If you want the design centered to the babies chest, draw an imaginary straight line from the armpits of the onesie using a ruler. Place the top of the design no more than 1″ over the ruler and center to the ruler.  If you have small pieces to iron, I recommend using tweezers and also placing the positive cut down as well. to keep the small negative pieces from shifting.
  6. Set your iron to the 2nd lowest setting with no steam.  On my Sunbeam iron, the setting is ‘Silk’.
  7. Remove the ruler and carefully iron until the was adheres to the onesie.  If you’re ironing to a synthetic fabric, be careful not to burn the shirt by ironing over the freezer paper only.  If the freezer paper is not adhering you can increase the heat setting on your iron but do so carefully.  If you’re ironing small negative pieces, using the edge of the iron, press down on the small piece.  If need be, also press down on the positive piece as it can be easily removed after ironed.
  8. If you placed the positive cut piece, now is the time to remove it.
  9. Place cardboard inside the onesie under the stencil area to prevent paint from seeping to the backside of the shirt.
  10. Paint!  I recommend painting from stencil into the middle of the design.  Painting from inside to the stencil runs the potential of ink bleeding under the stencil.
  11. Peel the stencil off slowly to avoid lifting any wet paint.

Images:

 

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Christmas Card: Packages Redux

Idea:
2014 was my third year making my own Christmas cards. Dropping a stack of finished handmade Christmas cards in the mail is rewarding but, this year I wanted my cards to be equally as whimsical but less time consuming to make.

Inspiration:
I’ve been trolling Pinterest for Christmas Card ideas since July. Loll of Stamping with Loll’s Christmas Packages Card beats them all with her simple and elegant design.

Images:

Photo credits: My very good friend Dina

Interesting Points:

After printing and cutting all the accommodation maps and envelope liners for Michelle & Joe’s Save the Dates I had a boatload of scrap white cardstock and cotton paper.  It’s a good thing I held on to them because I was able to use the scraps for my Christmas cards.

Save the Date: Letterpress Coasters Etc Part 1 – Prototype

Instructions:
Previous large scale projects have taught me the importance of prototyping an entire design. I made sure this project for 75 Save the Dates had iterations of design and prototype before we procured the supplies and production.

After final digital designs and several protptypes the Letterpress Coaster Save the Date Project comprised of the following:

– 5×5 kraft envelopes
– White envelope liners
– 4.75″ circles with double-sided printing
– 4″ circle double-sided letterpress coasters
– kraft paper anchor cutouts
– twine

Interesting Points:

– Weight: Thick cardstock and coasters make great statements but one thing we forget to take into consideration during design is the weight of the entire package. 80lb stock vs 120lb stock could mean a difference of $1 per mailing. At 75 mailings, you can save or spend $75 based on your paper stock choice. We took the prototype to the post office to determine if the weight was within our budget.

– Mailable Envelopes: Our visit to the post office proved to be more valuable than expected. Our earlier design was a 4×4 envelope with 3.5″ coasters which turns out to be non-mailable. 5×5″ is the minimum square-sized envelope the USPS will deliver.

– Cohesiveness: The prototyping phase gives the bride a great opportunity to see the package come to life. Yes, your wedding is really happening because we have the papers to prove it! Now that the digital design has passed the brides approval, most of the critique during this phase will be on color, font and packaging. A change in paper/envelope color, adding an image, tying the package in twine or changing the font can make all the difference. We had the challenge of having a 5×5″ envelope USPS limitation and 4″ circle being the largest coaster size. To keep the coaster from rolling around haphazardly in the envelope, we decided to tie it to another piece of paper that would include the accommodation information and a map of the wedding venue’s surrounding area.

– Proof Read: A detriment of designing into the night is the increased likelihood of making spelling mistakes. Words like ‘Accomodations’ and ‘Benajamin Franklyn’ slip through. A second set of eyes or reviewing the printed prototype after a good night sleep can nip the embarrassing error before they become 75 embarrassing errors.

– Content-driven wedding planning: There will always be pieces of information that you or the bride will include in the design but may not have 100% ready. With the blessing from the bride this kind of information can be omitted from the save the dates or placeholder text can be temporarily added for the sake of prototyping. Interestingly, even if the bride is super organized, I’ve been able to help her get a few more to-do items on her list. Examples are creating the wedding websites and securing discounted rates with the hotels.

– Double-Sided Alignment: It took several tries to get the print alignment for the 4.75″ round information page right. All I can say to this is keep trying until you succeed. Adjustments can be made in many places other than the digital file (I.e. Printers paper feeder, size of paper)

Image:

IMG_5326.JPG

Signage: Bridal Shower Banner in Script

Idea:
I wanted to make a simple yet classy Bridal Shower Banner for my dear friend. Most banners I see on the Internet are bunting banners with bold font or rectangular signs and both didn’t fit my criteria.

Inspiration:
I’ve made plenty of cards with cut out calligraphy words so why not a larger version to hang as a banner?

Images:
iphone pics 1201

Interesting Points:

    • Calligraphy font meant thin lines. With that being said, after merging the font letters, I needed to thicken the lines to at least 1/4 inch. On top of that, I chose thick card stock paper to ensure stiffness of the letters.
    • A few calligraphy letters didn’t connect (especially with the first capital letter to the next lower case letter). I used very thin strips of packaging tape to connect these letters.
    • Placement of the connecting and hanging strings proved to be crucial. Connecting from a flimsier part (and a lot times the furthest most letter of the word) caused the lettering to warp when hung. By trial and error, I identified points in the word that were strongest and would allow the word to sit cohesively with the next word.

GIMP: Removing People From a Photo

Idea:

It’s a candid photo of a beautiful moment that would be almost perfect for a thank you card except … what do you do with all those people in the background of the photo?

Instructions:

  1. Get the full resolution of the photo (hopefully it’s larger than 1MB)
  2. Using GIMP (a free alternative to Photoshop) select the Clone Tool
  3. Use the clone tool!

Images:

MJ engagement animation

Stay tuned for the next post where we talk about how we used the edited photo.

The Arm Letterpress

Inspiration:

Lisa and JD wed on a beautiful Charleston, South Carolina plantation in the Summer of 2009.  Their wedding invitation was my first taste of letterpress.  I saved the invitation set which, to some, might seem odd. If you’re thinking ‘the invitations didn’t offer you well wishes and it certainly wasn’t regarding an occasion to celebrate you’, you’re right but holding on to it was an innate reaction and I didn’t do much to fight it.

Idea:

I simply love the feel of deep impression on fine cotton paper so it became a dream of mine to learn the art of letterpress.  I have to be honest – I’m risk averse so dropping my career to go back to school to pursue the arts with a focus in printing was not an option.

My second option was to pursue a beginner course.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t commit to any courses offered during the week because my job and the number of hours in a day didn’t allow for it.

I suppose I took a shortcut because I started my ‘education’ of letterpress by reading blogs on the internet.  Eventually, my internet readings led me to the L Letterpress.  I know I know, there are various posts by letterpress printers that denounce the L Letterpress but, a few have opted to embrace it.

The optimistic posts consider the L Letterpress an inexpensive preview into the art of letterpress and these articles pointed me in the direction of The Arm Letterpress in Brooklyn NY.  After weeks of scouring the internet for information about The Arm and other co-op print studios in the area (which btw, in NYC, aren’t many), I registered for their  6-hour Letterpress on the Vandercook and C&P Pilot class.  While I understand there is much to learn about the rich history of printing, I appreciated having the opportunity to jump right into operating the Vandercook proof press and Chandler & Price Pilot press with just enough information to safely and properly use and clean the presses.

Taking this course was my inexpensive way to test whether this was something I really wanted to further invest my time and money in.  All I’m going to say is – I’ve booked some time to work on a press at The Arm this week.

Meet the creation at the next post.

Image:

20140307-161844.jpgChandler & Price Pilot Press