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The time I was going to show you how to make paper dahlias

I was joking with my family just the other day about how I use the word favorite quite liberally.

flowers-on-coffee-table

My favorite candy? Good & Plenties. Sour Patch Kids. Hot Tamales. Fruit Mentos. Twix if I’m feeling chocolaty.

Favorite color? Blue – all shades – or sometimes just the jeweled tones. Green. White – ah, I love white!. Gray.

My favorite season? Which ever one is up next.

See? Lot’s of favorites. Don’t try to stick me to only one from each category because I just can’t decide. There are just too many great things to choose between.

The same is true for types of flowers. My long-time favorite has been the hydrangea, but when peonies are in bloom, or lilacs or ranunculus each one becomes my new favorite.

dahlias-in-silver-vase

And then this time of year rolls around and dahlias pop open and I forget how much I love their colors and shapes and variations. And they turn into my current favorite.

dahlias-close-up

I was feeling so inspired by these farm-grown flowers that I thought I’d figure out how to recreate a paper version. I do have a thing for paper/fabric/tissue/crepe paper flowers.

I came across a few great tutorials – with templates even – and combined them with some methods of my own to create this pretty flower:

paper-dahlia

The plan was to share the tutorial with you, but here’s the thing: that one flower took me over an hour to make! 60 minutes for one little flower is just not a practical project. So I scraped the tutorial idea. I’m all for paper flowers, but I much prefer simple crafts to long, meticulous ones with lots of required precision cutting. If you have time to spare and meticulous cutting is your thing (or you have a fancy silhouette machine), here is the diy version I liked best.

So nevermind the dahlia tutorial I was planning on doing. It was great in theory, but this time around, I’ll just stick to looking at the real things. Dahlias are my favorite.

dahlias-on-table

P.S. don’t make fun of me for liking good & plenty. I can’t help it.

 

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DIY Seahawks birthday invitations + graphic design class now open!

If you haven’t gathered this from countless previous posts, let me tell you a not-so-secret secret about me: I am an in the moment kind of girl.  Casting vision, long-term goal-setting, meal planning, scheduling posts – these are not my forte. I’m a night-before, whatever is right in front of my face or on the to-do list today type which mostly works out fine. I like being flexible and I’m pretty good at pulling things together at the last minute.

Like my son’s birthday party, for example.

seahawks-football-party-invitation

It’s coming up this weekend and we just figured out what we’re doing for his party. It’s been on my radar – just not glaring enough to do anything about it (see? not very forward-thinking). But we’ve come up with a plan (Seahawks watching party!!!), planned out the food (football game snacks, gatorade to drink, chocolate covered s’mores for dessert) and written the guest list. All that’s left are goodie bags (a big deal for a nearly-nine-year-old) and decorations (I’ll figure those out later – see below).

Oh, and invitations.

football-party-invitation

There are countless ways I use graphic design in my everyday, but making my kids’ party invitations ranks at the top of reasons I love knowing my way around Adobe Illustrator.

First, I like that I’m not limited by what’s available in stores as far as themes go. Any design/colors/motif is possible.

Second, I prefer an invitation where I don’t have to hand write in the details. By making them myself, I just type it all out which makes them easy to read and less time-consuming for me.

Third, invitations always set the tone for the party and even if it’s not over-the-top extravagant, it’s nice to put some personal touches into kids’ parties.

And finally, there’s no need to think weeks ahead (thank goodness!) and spend extra money ordering custom invitations online. All it takes is a little time in front of the computer, a printer and a few pieces of nice paper.

birthday-invitation-football-party

Now, I’ve been designing invitations for quite some time (see a bunch of examples here), so the process is pretty quick for me. And it can be for you, too. This invitation is a mix of a free printable background (the playbook diagram – so cute!), free kraft paper digital scrapbook paper, and a Seahawk icon copied from the internet. Nothing too fancy! I made the yard line markers/numbers with a font called Stamping Nico (from dafont.com) and the main text is Trend Sans (from myfonts.com). The design is simple, but playful and I like that it is seahawk-y/football-y without being obnoxious.  I also like that they were finished in time to give out a few days before the party.

football-party-invitations-and-envelopes

I know not everyone wants to make their own invitations, so my feelings will not be hurt if you click away at this point …

* BUT *

… for those of you who would like to create invitations and stationery and logos, blog graphics, artwork and postcards for your husband’s (or your own!) business, I’d love to help you learn how.

simplified-graphic-design-class

This past spring I launched a great online class called Simplified Graphic Design teaching beginners how to use Adobe Illustrator. I LOVE THIS CLASS! I love teaching it and answering questions and hearing about how it is helping ladies finally feel confident using a seemingly complicated program to unleash their creativity. The class is made up of 12 video lessons that all take place online. You can go at your own pace and have access to the videos for as long as you’d like (no pressure to hurry through!).

I teach the most common and practical tools/steps/techniques needed for everyday design and share all of my best resources for fonts, graphics, inspiration and tools.

If you’ve been wanting to learn a new skill, need a refresher course on Illustrator, or have been dying to know how people make all those awesome graphics, this is totally for YOU!

>> For all of the details and to register, click here <<

p.s. space is limited and the class has sold out each time it’s been offered, so be sure to grab your spot.

p.p.s. I’ll be browsing pinterest for great football party decorating ideas, but if you have any brilliant ideas, I’m all ears …

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rolled MAGAZINE flowers + antler chalk art

During my ‘quieting the house‘ rampage, I finally convinced myself to get rid of stacks and stacks of old magazines. Why was I holding on to them? I can not tell you. But from the comments on the IG photo, magazine-hoarding seems to be a common problem among perfectly normal women.

All of those extra magazines got me thinking … what can all of us hoarders do with old publications that we’re truthfully never going to read again? We can make stuff. Cute rolled paper flowers, for example.

rolled-flower-antler-chalkboard

Add the rolled magazine flowers to a simple chalkboard project and you have an inexpensive and whimsical piece of art.

rolled-magazine-flowers-antlers-chalkboard

Let me show you how to make it.

TO MAKE THE ROLLED MAGAZINE FLOWERS:

magazine-rolled-flowers-supplies

SUPPLIES // magazine (or catalog), scissors, hot glue gun

STEP ONE // cut a page from the magazine into a circle. It does not need to be perfect.

cut-in-circle-magazine-rolled-flowers

STEP TWO // cut a spiral in the circle. Wavy and imperfect is good.

magazine-flower-cut-spiral

STEPS THREE – SIX //

rolled-magazine-flowers-steps

Tightly coil starting from the outside
Roll to the end
Release coil
Hot glue to center part

TO MAKE A LEAF:   make-a-magazine-leaf

Cut leaf shape from magazine
Accordion fold and hot glue to hold
By placing a few flowers together with leaves, you get a colorful bouquet.

magazine-rolled-flowers

TO MAKE THE ANTLERS:

antler-chalk-art

Print out the antler template (download in the archive)
Turn over and cover with chalk
Flip template over and trace antler outline with pencil (this will make a faint transfer on the chalkboard)
Trace again with chalk
Add the rolled magazine flower bouquet with double-sided tape to the chalkboard and you’re finished.

rolled-magazine-flowers-with-chalkboard-antlers

Sometimes a minimal project with free supplies is the best.

rolled-magazine-flowers-and-antler-chalk-art

To download the antler template, you are welcome to log in or join the archive (our library of free printables, fonts, clip art and templates). Log in here.

And now for a few questions: are you a magazine keeper? Do you have any other suggestions for what to do with old issues?

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