August 29, 2010

Classy and Clean

How many of you go to in-home parties (i.e. jewelry, food products, home decor) and spend as much time analyzing the materials and brochures as you do the product on display?


image from

So of course I like to peruse materials, looking at: size, shape, colors, white space, and of course the fonts. I put myself in the designer's place and decide how he/she made each choice and how it is appropriate to the purpose of the piece.

Trajan Pro is the font that is featured in my Giant Blog Element posts. I'm trying to decide if it is overused. I tried to do some online research and couldn't find any good articles that were applicable, but I have just been noticing the font everywhere, especially in wedding-themed materials...and in Vegas I noticed quite a few posters for nightclubs and gentlemen clubs that use the font.

You would never want to use Trajan Pro for full paragraphs, as it is all-caps, but many businesses use it for headings. Paired with of course another more readable font and plenty of white space, it denotes classiness and professionalism.

image from

August 23, 2010

Initial elements

Step one: break out the beloved brushes; squeeze out those beautiful and vibrant paints; and fill the whole room with the smell of turpentine. That first moment where the brush meets the texture of the canvas is so exhilarating!
Step two: you decide you are too excited about the project to let it dry (plus you didn't add cobalt drier!) so take a picture of the canvas. Then manipulate the file in Photoshop, spending nearly as much time and having nearly as much fun, playing on the computer as you did with the actual paint.

Step three: use part of the rich color and texture to add detail and intrigue to a white slate.

This was a first draft using minimal information for an invitation, based on this painting:

The Piano Lesson by Renoir; image found at

The theme changed, the colors changed (but how I love the rich, warm colors--so some of them still kept a strong role), just about everything changed over the course of this project. Wait til you see what emerged! But these were the initial elements.

August 8, 2010

I really should name them

With all the time I spend on my computer for projects, I couldn't imagine working without my dual monitors. It's so helpful to work on pieces of projects on each monitor, or be able to compare and contrast images.

Ben had an extra monitor and set it up for me when we lived in Fremont. He's just a little jealous that I can watch a show on one monitor and work on the other.

August 5, 2010

What a find!

Right around the time Amber and I became infatuated with finding the right Christmas tree decorations, I also became obsessed with finding creative and elegant ways to wrap gifts. Unfortunately, much of what I found that I loved from Better Homes and Gardens and Martha I had to dismiss as too expensive and time-consuming for my taste.

Even though I am an artist and feel that presentation is important, I am also a Skelton and don't find it practical to spend money on something that is going to be ripped and thrown away. (At least we can rotate the gift bags from person to person each year.)

Then I found the following:

Featured on, the above picture is of gifts wrapped in tissue paper and then wrapped again in a glassine paper. I'll go the easy way out and let you read about it on wikipedia.

I searched for this glassine paper everywhere, it seemed! I called places in Lincoln, looked online for a good place to order from--and finally found it at Dick Blick in Omaha. I was so ecstatic when the salesgirl said she had it; and then I was floored at how inexpensive it turned out to be.

I have a wedding this weekend to attend, and here is how the gift turned out:

The card is simply two layers of cardstock; the "bride and groom" is printed on a regular inkjet printer; and I wrote a short note for the card on the backside. Because the glassine is wrapped over the tissue paper and card, the card cannot be accidentally separated from the gift.

I just love the look of the layers/folds of the paper.

August 2, 2010

orange & pink, pink & brown, brown & turquoise

No, this is not part of the Giant Blog. But I love love this photo, from one of the many photo blogs in my feed. Someday when I have little girls I will dress them up in fanciful clothes and take pictures for their scrapbooks. And yes, maybe even make time to scrapbook. Check out the full post.

Andrea Burns Photography


How would you describe the following posters/covers?