Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Christmas in July continues...

I had a project in mind this "Christmas In July" month and wanted to created a greeting from an illustration.
I challenged myself my only using a limited color palette. These are rough photos and will later appear at my Zazzle shop for the Holidays.

Medium: Sharpie Pen
Paper: Bristol Paper
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays
Medium: No. 2 Pencil
Paper: Bristol Paper
Merry Christmas
Medium: Sharpie Markers
Paper: Marker Paper
When I started to add the black, I did not like how it was turning out. I will redo this version keeping the white.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays
Sharpies have such vibrant colors when used on marker paper.
I like using the Tria Markers because the blend well.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays
Original began with a sketch and ended with colorful images.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mom's Christmas Essentials

While I was planning "Christmas In July", my mom offered ideas of what to try, cook and blog about. Because mom shared some great ideas, I asked "What top 10 must have Christmas essentials everyone should have ?".  It was hard to condensed all of her ideas down to 10, but here are her favorites.

It's Mom's Top 10 Must Have Christmas Essentials

1. Holiday Fund: open a Christmas fund at your local credit union. Opening a Christmas Fund can be done with the entire family putting away a certain amount each month and when the Holidays come, you have the funding you need. Plan a budget, use cash and stick to it.

2. Christmas Tree:
  No, you don't have to have a large Christmas tree, we had a table top tree until my brother and I were in high school.

3. Food: not to many things in life better than good food and fellowship. All people come together around food which makes for great fellowship.

4. Family and/or Friends: spend holidays with family & friends is so important to strengthen your relationships. Maybe you can't spend time with family or friends, but you can give of your time and volunteer.

5. Indoor/Outdoor lights: Lights just help make things festive. (optional)

6. Great Christmas Desserts Recipes: Break out the cookbooks and make something! Have kids? Make it family time in the kitchen.

7. Scented Candles: created a warm holiday retreat for yourself or  entertaining friends.

8. Christmas Music: Usually right after Halloween, certain radio stations will begin playing Christmas music, turn the radio up and enjoy.

9. Love:
be a giver. The holidays are the perfect time to give, and show love towards others. You can donate financial, donate food, presents or time to many local organizations.

10: Christmas Pajamas: it's a tradition in our house. New pajamas are given out every Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Apples Apples and more Apples

As we are celebrating "Christmas In July" I wanted to share one of my favorite go to that can be enjoyed in the summer, fall and winter and that is the apple (Granny Smith, Golden, Jonathan, McIntosh, etc). Not just an apple but how you dress up your apple.

Candy, Caramel or Chocolate Apple that can be topped with the same ingredients.

What I enjoyed in the Summer: Candy Apple

Candy recipe:
• 1/2 c (120mL) light corn syrup
• 2 c (480 mL) sugar.
• 3/4c (180 mL) water
• Food coloring (opt.) - red is traditional, but any color works!
(read full recipe)

What I enjoyed in the Fall: Salted Caramel Apple

Salted Caramel recipe:
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
• 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
• 1 tablespoon sea salt
(read full recipe)

What I enjoyed in the Winter: Chocolate Apple

Chocolate recipe:
• 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, or dark chocolate chips, or white chocolate
• 2 tbsp shortening
• Combine the chocolate and the shortening in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, stirring every 45 seconds.
• Chill apples in refrigerator until completely set, about 45 minutes.
(read full recipe)

Sometimes when I don't feel like making my own yumminess, I will take visit s Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory store for their delicious caramel apples with notes or hop on line a make a purchase at Mrs. Prindables Gourmet Caramel Apples.

Invite some friends over, have family time with the kids and try one of these fabulous recipes this Fall and Holiday season.

Monday, July 22, 2013

MondayMakeover - What I would do for Hobby Lobby - "Christmas In July" campaign

As a graphic designer there are some opportunities I want to cross my path.
One of those opportunities is designing for Hobby Lobby.

This time of year, Hobby Lobby will bring out their Halloween decorations, Thanksgiving decorations and Christmas decorations. While walking the isles of Hobby Lobby I thought to myself, they should have a guide that can help people with home decor, crafts, party decor, art and fabrics. So why not a Christmas In July Holiday Guide that introduces their products, offers suggestions for decoration for Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Winter and Christmas; also including craft ideas and fashion ideas.
The followings images is what I would do, if I had the opportunity to design for Hobby Lobby.
Side note: I am a fan of Hobby Lobby home accessories, I often visit the after season isle where products are 66%-80% off - Just an FYI.

Your guide through the Holidays.

• Full Color 17x11 flat - 8.5x11 folded, front & back 8 page magazine spread
• E-Marketing blast
• Facebook promotion the week prior
• Released as a Sunday newspaper insert that will also be in Hobby Lobby stores the
  following Monday.
What make this insert different than the others is, the magazine would include tips & tricks from Interior Designers and Fashion Designers, Ideas from popular bloggers.

Outside Cover
Inside Cover includes a letter from the CEO, letter from the editor and
Christmas party idea including color palette.
You can create this "Noel" craft and Autumn section cover.
images featuring Hobby Lobby home accessories and you can create this Holiday mantel.
Winter fashion idea including color palette and Fall wedding fashion ideas.
Halloween outdoor decorations - party ideas and Winter home ideas and color palette.
Winter cover section and you can do this Halloween craft.
You can do this Christmas table display and Black Friday teaser ad.


Email Blast / E-Marketing

Facebook Cover teaser

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Holiday Picture Ideas

A creative way to bring the holidays into small spaces is to use some holiday pictures with or without sayings. You can go to your local 2nd hand store or $1 dollar store to pick up a frame 5"x 7" or small. Find FREE wallpaper images online, download and frame. Below are some of my favorite images I would have in my office, bedroom dresser or bathroom counter.  (click on image to download)

Spiritual Image
Christian Saying
A Winter snow scene
Quote from "The Scrooge"
Scripture & Verse
Scripture & Verse
Something whimsical

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Christmas In July Craft

Earlier this summer my brother an array of flip flops that were on sale for $1 at JCPenny. The challenge: do something with them.
Below is what I came up with. Summer crafting that turned in Holiday Gift Giving ideas.

Blue FlipFlops:
I added blue poinsettia flowers from Michaels (After christmas sale) to the front and jewels 50% off from Hobby Lobby along the side.

Pink FlipFlops:
I added large green daisies I found at Michaels (80% off their spring floral)

White FlipFlops:
I had 2 old bandanas, cut them up on strips, then tied them along the sides.

Purple FlipFlops:
The butterflies were donated to me, the glittery green spheres in the center are cut
from holiday picks I got from Hobby Lobby and the purple butterflies are stickies
for scrapbooking.

Black FlipFlops:
Long strand of dark grey beads was donated to be.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Christmas in July Reads

I do have a few book reads that I am looking forward reading in the next few months. Some library picks, book trades with my BFF and used bookstore finds. So enjoy a cup of Tea and a Good Book with me.

Christmas In July Read

Graphic Design Tip: Sketch

Why is it important to sketch?

Early Concept Sketches Of Twitter’s Bird Logo from

Sketching will spark ideas and can be done anywhere.

Start a project by brainstorming ideas and writing down whatever comes to mind.
Take time to shut down your laptops push aside the drawing, pick up a pencil or pen and paper and begin to sketch. Sketching captures thoughts, great ideas have come from rough sketches. As artists/designers we benefit from sketching by improving our drawing skills, discovering new skills and helps build confidence.

Here are few links to some of my favorite articles about the importance of sketching.
The Importance of Sketching: Oliver Barrett’s Moleskine
The Importance of Sketching in Creating a Successful Design Work
The Role of Sketching in the Design Process

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

~ Holiday Idea ~

I wanted to share 10 of my favorite Holiday Color Palettes from other bloggers
that will inspire you to think about your Holiday designs.
(click image to visit original blog)