My sister started a Crafty Christmas Swap
over on her blog
where a bunch of us random crafters signed up to make and then send ornaments to each other. I had a lot of ideas involving Shrinky-Dinks and some sort of printable. The joy ornament shown below is what I ended up going with. In the process, I created a few printables that didn't work as ornaments, but would work as something else. Please note all of my free printables are for personal use only.
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First, I'll talk about what did work and what I used to create it.
I bought inkjet shrinky-dinks (important that they are inkjet) and then printed the joy printable on the left.
Then I found some christmas music
and printed one page on the other side.
I cut out the letters with a 2" hole punch. Then I punched a small hole in the top and bottom of the j and o and only the top of the y.
Then I shrunk them to the size of nickels. Watching that process is so fun!
To connect the letters and make hooks, I used some wire and voilà, done.
Now for the designs that didn't work for ornaments, but would work as other things:
I created the Christmas printables above for a 2" circle punch. I was going to put them on either side of a flat round glass ornament I had filled with epsom salt (to look like snow), but when shrunk, the designs ended up as the size of a nickel. A nickel was just too small for the ornament. However, these designs would work great printed on card stock as tags for presents to neighbors and friends.
After going too small, I went too big with the design on the right. Imagine 3 duplicate designs on that letter-size paper. I cut them out and rounded the corners, punched holes and then shrunk them in the oven. What I ended up with was 4 keychains...
I'm not sure what I was hoping for that time around, but after deleting the 3 duplicates, I ended up with a great template for a card.
Fold hamburger style with the design facing outward and then hotdog style with the design on the front and you have a customizable card.
If you want it to be extra special, you can draw something on the back side before folding so your recipient opens it up to find a letter-size poster. I like to have my 3-year-old go to town on that part.
Welp, Merry Christmas everybody! I hope you enjoy my printables! If you'd like to redistribute them or use them in designs commercially, please use my contact form.
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P.S. I participated in this craft swap with 4 other crafters.
I'll come back and add to this post with photos of their ornaments as I get the goodies in the mail.
The picture on the left is from a crafter and photographer named Julia. Feel free to look at more photos of her upcycled ornaments as well as some of the amazing places she's been on flickr
is a great resource for designers. I have used the textures in many of my designs. For instance, I photoshopped the wood planks and paper pieces below...
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To create the backgrounds for the
I decided they needed a little more contrast, so I took them into photoshop again.
This was a fun project. If you live near St. Helens, I highly recommend banking with my client. They're really great AND if you know someone else who banks there, you can get 25 bucks!
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Sometimes, you get stuck doing something because you didn't even think about the alternative. I created the background of this poster using a few different illustrations and then a free parchment texture listed below. I sat there for much longer than I care to admit looking at the poster wondering why it was so dull and why the colored logo (something I couldn't change) looked so lackluster. Writing now, I am even wondering why I sat there trying to fix a problem with a solution so obvious! Just change the background color. Contrast and colors matter, it's Art 101, but we all need a little reminder at times, or at least, I do.
Below are the different illustrations and the texture used to create the background.
I created this rose before receiving the logo and wanted to use it without having clashing elements, so I blended it into the background.
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This is the texture on the top and bottom of the poster added to create more depth.
I typed this famous quote from the musical using Adios Script, which I bought from myfonts.com.
To the Left: I used the 5th texture down. These textures (along with many more) were provided by VandelayDesign.com
. It's the type of site where you go (as a designer) and wonder what your life could have been like if you had only known about it sooner. I love the freebies on their blog and will use them again.
Also, the Seinfeld reference inherent in their name makes me happy inside.
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The picture to the left was not used in the poster, it's my desktop wallpaper for August and possibly September. We will be moving to Idaho soon, so going to the coast in Oregon was a nice way to say farewell. Feel free to right click it and select download.
© Kaelie Nielsen Design 2013. Free for personal use only. If you would like to use it commercially, please contact me
Recently, I've been asked about a few things regarding typography. This blog is basically copied and pasted from my emails in response to the questions.
For paragraphs, serif fonts are easier to read on print while sans serif fonts are easier to read on screen.
To learn more than you care to know about the difference between serif fonts and sans serif fonts - click the image above (created by the blog's author) Fonts that are a disgrace to the typographer who created themThese typographers are like Dr. Frankenstein, "I've created a monster!"Comic sans
(not so much because of the font, but because it's a total rip off
of Helvetica)If you ever come across these, look the other way. So don't look at the image below.
Rules to help you avoid faux pas
Don't pair a sans serif font with another sans serif font (Pairing Arial and Helvetica would be a faux pa).
Script/handwritten fonts can be used as headers, but never for paragraphs.
Do not bold serif fonts. My typography teacher said the letters look like fat ballerinas.
S P A C E (or track) C A P I T A L letters
as it makes them easier to read. Never write a whole paragraph in capital letters. Do not track l o w e r c a s e letters
, because when learning to read, people memorize the shapes of words and breaking up the shape of the word slows down the reading process. This concept is also the reasoning behind never writing a paragraph in all capital letters - unless of course, you're designing a wedding invitation.
If you've read my previous posts, you may have noticed I didn't keep up with desktop photos. Since I was gone for the month of June, my desktop was outdated for a month. So, instead of designing the month on the photo, I've uploaded my desktop photos below (right click to download). © Kaelie Nielsen Design 2013.
Yeah... I'm a fan of flowers.
When I received my sister's
wedding invitations, I absolutely loved the design of the tree. No, I won't post it, but it's similar. Years later, I had the opportunity to create a tree for the hand out above for a church calling
. So, I've posted it here incase you would like to use it. Enjoy!
© Kaelie Nielsen Design. For personal use only.
My birthday was April 30 and my husband knew what I wanted.
I'm so glad I got a new camera! Caution: this next part is going to sound like an advertisement, I get this way when talking about great things. Don't get me started on gmail or pinterest, you won't hear the end of it.
No, it's not a Canon. It's not a Nikon. It's a Panasonic Lumix G
. We found it at Costco for $300 less than anywhere else online and about half the price of the bigger name brand cameras with comprable capabilities. It is everything I was hoping for and then some. I'm a fan. I'm not an amazing photographer, but this camera has helped very much in that department. One photo I took became my desktop wallpaper.
I was reading How About Orange
where Jessica Jones had sited some different desktop designs. This gave me an idea...
Wallpaper for my iMac Desktop - I don't know how big it is, I just pressed shift, command 3 to take a full screen capture and used the front image dimensions from there in photoshop.
1280x1040 May Desktop Wallpaper
1920x1200 May Desktop Wallpaper
The only editing done was the addition of text. I try to post at least once monthly, perhaps this will be a good way to practice photography and keep this blog updated.
You may download these desktop wallpapers by right clicking the images. Enjoy!
Strange, how things happen in pairs or in 3's. Recently, I had two requests for very similar logos.
About month ago, the owner of Lucky Ducks Preschool
requested a logo, stationery and a website
. She wanted a happy duck with a clover in its mouth and I had the idea to create a sort of stamp effect with the circle around the duck.
Side Note: My daughter is enrolled to attend the preschool in September. I'm so excited!
Just 2 weeks ago, my step-father had an interesting request. He's raising chickens and built a coop and may end up writing a book about the whole process. How does this involve me? He named the coop Fowl Play Condo and had the idea to post a sign on the side. Without knowing anything about my most recent logo, he requested I illustrate a happy chicken inside a circle with Fowl Play across the top and Condo across the bottom.
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They're oddly similar, yet unique from any other logos I've created.
I love coincidences.
In fact, I love them so much, that I feel I must link to a podcast of This American Life
specifically talking about crazy coincidences.
I like to think things happen in 3's really. Anyone need a logo
with a bird in a circle?
I love the internet. Why? Because this design would not be possible without it.
Mercury Script is my favorite font. I bought it on sale at MyFonts.com
The background texture adds a vintage character that would have taken me hours to create. I downloaded it in seconds after remembering a post from Chris Spooner
While I can illustrate well, I would have struggled to create the flourish
that gives that extra detail necessary in tying the whole design together. I do not usually use so many pieces created by other artists, but sometimes their works are the only things that complete my final design
While using someone else's work in my own piece, I always strive to create something that is unique to my client and distinctly a work of my own.
Remember my post about the Arts Summit
? Well, I met a really great woman from Wilsonville who is intensely involved with the arts. Her name? Theonie Gilmore
. She invited me to come to a meeting for the Wilsonville Festival of Arts and I agreed to go. Theonie has a way of getting people to do things - I think every volunteer organization needs a Theonie. Anyway, I went and I'm glad I did. I realized I could help with their logo
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just finished this year. The Wilsonville Festival of Art is paying tribute to that project, so I wanted a photo of some of the art to be a focal point of the poster. The photo was taken by Greg Shoffner.
The wfaposter on the left is an 11x17 poster
and the fact-sheet is 8.5x11.
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Download the free black & white printable
Please note: The file is free only for personal use.