Friday, July 31, 2015

Digitizing Hand Lettering in Illustrator


Lately I've been using my hand lettering on my projects more and more. One reason I like using it is it makes my art and crafts more unique and personal, and with a lot of practice it's been getting better. Another reason is that it can be quicker than using fonts, because of the time spent picking out fonts, designing the quote and cutting out vinyl. Well, for the shorter quotes and smaller signs anyway. But it can be taxing on your hands, and the paint markers I use aren't readily available, I have to order them online and I'm always running out. So, the idea came to me about digitizing them, which means turning them into vector images, so I could use them over and over again!

It seemed like a daunting task to attempt, but I was kinda excited about it. I would have to create it using Adobe Illustrator, and wasn't very experienced with it. I had originally taken a class in it in college, but I never really mastered it, I was only comfortable with some of the basics. And even though I was already using it to make most of my quote signs, I wasn't very good at manipulating vectors. Then, I happened upon a site called Skillshare and I signed up for a trial to take a class by Bonnie Christine about making patterns in Illustrator, another interest I had and wanted to learn. To my surprise, she went over the Illustrator basics, plus how to use the shortcuts and was a great teacher! I was excited to be learning so much and it didn't seem so hard anymore. Plus, I was happy to find Skillshare, which is a really great site. There are so many skills you can learn on there with their video tutorials, including skills by hand such as calligraphy, to Photography lessons, to software lessons like Photoshop.

I started drawing my lettering in a sketchbook (see above) with Microns (08, 1 & 2), which ended up taking quite a bit of time. I would do so many letters a day, and I wanted to make more than one of each letter, so I ended up drawing a LOT of letters! But it was worth it, I wanted the variety! Then, I took another class on Skillshare, which was also about making repeat patterns, it's called Reign Repeats by Majo Bautista V. (links below). She also had many tutorials that were helpful, so I was gaining more confidence in Illustrator.

The last class I took to help me with Illustrator was a new one that showed up on Skillshare. It's a font class called Create Your Own Hand Drawn Font by Jenn Coyle. It sounded so exciting to me, because I love fonts and I always hoped to create my own font. She makes digitizing your lettering seem pretty easy, utilizing scanning, Photoshop tricks and Illustrator live trace and shortcuts. Well, it helps if you already know the software some. The last part of the class is on using an app called Glyphs to turn your lettering into a font, which seems to be the trickiest part of the process. And then I found out it was only for Macs, so I went ahead and created my lettering without converting it into an actual font. Hopefully someday I will though! I checked out her website Hello Brio and found her blog tutorial about making a font, so I included the links to both below:



This is her font tutorial on her blog.



Otherwise, you can take her Skillshare Class.





This is a preview of some of my lettering I digitized in Illustrator. I am pretty happy with the way it turned out! I am going to use this lettering on a coffee cup quote print. I also made the coffee cup to go along with it, just quickly adding some random colors and patterns to it for fun. I originally drew the cup on an iPad with the Inkpad app and then cleaned it up in Illustrator.

I hope to finish some of my quote prints soon, and then I'll share them here. Please check out the links to view some Skillshare classes. If you would like to give it a try, my link for a free month is below :)

Have a fantastic day!

~Cameo


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Classes for learning Adobe Illustrator basics:

These are the classes I took, there are even more Illustrator classes on Skillshare.

~Intro To Surface Pattern Design: Learn Adobe Illustrator | Create Patterns by Bonnie Christine.

~Reign Repeats: Create Perfect Repeat Patterns in Illustrator by Majo Bautista V.



Thursday, June 18, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Altered Acrylic Picture Frame



For my first Throwback Thursday blog post, where I share older projects and photos, I have an cute and quick altered acrylic picture frame. It uses a 5x7 clear acrylic frame, which you can find at most home stores and dollar stores. It's so fun and easy to decorate them and you can decorate both the inside and the outside. Plus, they are inexpensive to make and they would make great gifts and kids craft projects.

I decided to go with a dog themed frame, featuring my sweet old dog Brodie. He was so fun and happy all the time, I miss him so much! The photo I used was cut down to fit a 2x3 acrylic magnet frame, where you slide your photo in. I adhered it to the larger frame with Glue Lines, putting the strips just on the magnet part.

The inside of the frame is like making mini scrapbook page, which you just slide into the frame. I took a 5x7 piece of cardstock and glued on 3 strips of paper, including the red border which was cut down from a patterned piece of paper. I measured it to make sure it would look good with the photo on the outside. For the finishing touch, I added a chipboard heart to the outside (with Glue Dots), which was accented with a "cute" word from a rub-on sheet. Other options to consider when making the frame include: adding stickers, stamping, painting, rhinestones, buttons, embellishments, die cuts, ribbons & more. So many possibilities! :)

Happy Thursday to you!
 
~Cameo

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Make a Creative Quote Scrapbook

(Paper and quote by Lisa Bearnson, circle punch by EK Success, others: markers, Spritzer Airbrush tool, embroidery floss, thread, fibers and spiral paper clips).
 
If you are a scrapbooker and love quotes too, why not combine them into a quote scrapbook! I was first introduced to the idea a long time ago from Lisa Bearnson (aka the scrapbooking queen), and bought a kit of hers to start. But then I continued on making them with my own materials. My favorite things about quote albums are: picking out quotes to use, deciding what theme or materials to use on the page, and also getting to use up scraps and supplies. If you are like me, sometimes you just buy things you like and you hold onto them for a while or don't know what to do with them. It's also a great way to try out new techniques, fonts or dingbats (picture fonts), or to use new tools on pages.
 
I like to make mine 6x6 inches, because I just love those cute little scrapbooks. And I don't usually like to scrapbook in that small size. It's also a great excuse to go buy one you've been eyeing, but didn't know what you would do with it. So far mine have no photos in them, but you can add a picture page across from a quote you like, or incorporate the photo(s) into your page. What's great about this is you can always go back and rearrange and incorporate photos if you change your mind down the road.
 
Other options to make a quote scrapbook:
  • Use a Smash book or an artist sketchbook (like an art journal).
  • Use tiny mini albums or make your own with chipboard.
  • Use a regular photo album and make your pages in a standard photo size 4x6, 5x7, or 8x10.
  • Use  Project Life or similar pocket pages and use all the same size pockets, otherwise vary your quote sizes.
  • Use a standard letter size binder or half-size binder, possibly with a pocket front to make your own cover and spine.
  • Mount multiple smaller quote pages onto one 12x12 black or white cardstock page and put into a scrapbook.
  • Display your new pages in a frame before putting them in your scrapbook. Or use smaller quotes in a bi-fold, tri-fold, or a collage frame.


(Swirl paper by Provo Craft, font is Gypsy Switch, fibers by EK Success, paw print punch by EK Success, others: brown marker, chalk, chalk pencils, and office tag).
 
I'm such an animal lover, and I love this quote, so I had to make an animal quote page. On this quote block I cut the title wavy freehand with a craft knife and chalked the edges with a cotton ball. I chalked the tag and the border with chalk pencils. I added the plaid line effect to the background paper with a slightly darker brown marker.
 

(Sun paper cutouts by Rebecca Sower for EK Success, font is Avril, Color Spritzer Airbrush tool, others: deckle edge scissor, orange paper, cream cardstock, chalk, and brown marker).
 
One of my favorite quotes ever by Benjamin Franklin: " Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight." For this quote page, I cut the wavy borders freehand with a deckle scissor. To make the lighter textured cardstock, I started with cream cardstock and crumpled it up into a ball, then flattened it back out. To color it, I chalked it with a cotton ball in yellow, then went over the creases with orange chalk. On the orange paper, I printed out the quote first, then I crumpled it up a little bit, then flattened it out. I added little dots to it using a brown marker and the Color Spritzer Airbrush Tool. I love the way the textured paper turned out! To help flatten out these papers, put heavy books on top, otherwise use a regular book with hand weights on top.
 
I hope you give this project a try, thanks for dropping by!
 
~Cameo
 
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{Link Parties I am participating in}
 
Made by You Mondays at http://www.skiptomylou.org
Link Party Palooza at http://todayscreativeblog.net
 
Supplies Used for this project:




(FTC Disclosure: Blissmade Designs is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Take Time To Do What Makes Your Soul Happy

 
 
I love the quote "Take Time To Do What Makes Your Soul Happy." It is such good reminder to find the time to do the things that make you happy. And so I decided to put it on a canvas. This mixed-media canvas features painting, stamping, paper flowers and buttons. I hand lettered the quote in paint markers and a small paint brush. I decided to make it in one of my favorite color schemes: blue, green and browns. You can find it available in my Etsy shop.


 
This close-up shows the subtle stamped background of flowers, paisley, and corner flourishes. I used the method of dry stamping over wet paint to remove the paint. I believe there is a name for this technique, but it is not coming to me right now! I find that it works best using a color wash, stain, or glaze. I also took a stylus and scratched swirls into the still wet paint. The paper flowers were dyed, layered, inked and topped with buttons.
 
 
 
This is an alternate version I made for a custom order. She went with a sage green, buttercup, cream, and browns for her colors. It was made to match her craft room, which is in the next photo. I thought it turned out pretty good, compared to the original. It can be tricky trying to recreate your work!
 

 
I love when I get photos of my work in my customer's homes. It doesn't happen very often, but it makes me happy to see my art in people's homes! :)
 
 
Have a great day!
 
~Cameo
 
 
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Inspirational Song & Video - Colbie Caillat - Live It Up

 
 
I love finding and listening to inspirational songs and videos, and right now I'm loving this one by Colbie Caillat. I regularly listen to two of her other inspirational songs: "Think Good Thoughts" and "Dream Life Life," which I also recommend checking out. This song "Live It Up" from her new album "Gypsy Heart" contains some lyrics that I really love, so I made some screen captures of the video to highlight them below. The full lyrics are also below. I hope this song and video inspires you as well. Enjoy :)
 
 



 
 
Live it up up I
Live it up up I
Live it up up I
 
A thousand people stood in line
To hear a couple words of mine
Afraid I would miss a beat
And everyone is watching me
I don't know why I'm still afraid
It's not like it was yesterday
I'm the one stopping me
From all the I want to be
 
It's ridiculous
The stars are inconspicuous
I told myself this can't be how I think
It's irrational
It seems so supernatural
I'm happy every after all I've seen
 
I'm unstoppable
I drop kick impossible
I live it up, live it up, up I
I live it up, live it up, up I
I break down the walls
I back hand and smash em all
I live it up, live it up, up I
I live it up, live it up, up I
 
Live it up, up I
Live it up, up I
 
Don't know why my stomach drops
Like jumping off a mountain top
I used to be fearless when, I had my safety net
Wake up my heart is beating fast
'Cause I ain't got no strings attached
Free to go anywhere, everywhere
It's just that I don't know where
 
It's ridiculous
There thoughts are inconspicuous
I told myself this can't be how I think
It's irrational
It seems so supernatural
I'm happy every after all I've seen
 
I'm unstoppable
I drop kick impossible
I live it up, live it up, up I
Live it up, live it up, up I
I break down the walls
I back hand and smash em all
I live it up, live it up, up I
Live it up, live it up, up I
 
Live it up, up I
Live it up, up I
 
No I'm not afraid
No I'm not afraid
Live it up, up I (No I'm not afraid)
No, yeah, yeah
 
I'm unstoppable
I drop kick impossible
I live it up, live it up, up I
Live it up, live it up, up I
I break down the walls
I back hand and smash em all
I live it up, live it up, up I
I live it up, live it up, up I
 
Live it up, live it up baby
Live it up, live it up baby
Live it up, live it up baby
Live it up, live it up baby
Live it up, live it up baby
Live it up, live it up baby
Live it up, live it up baby
 
Songwriters: CAILLAT, COLBIE / CARLSSON, JOHAN / GOLAN, ROSS

(FTC Disclosure: Blissmade Designs is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com)
 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Motivational Signs and Sitter blocks

 
Lately I've been feeling more drawn to motivational and inspirational quotes and sayings to use in my artwork and signs. I've been loving the "You Got This" saying to motivate me in my studio. This is the version I made for myself. It features a hand drawn sun image in the background, with hand lettering and doodling on the sides.


 
These are the new signs available in my Etsy shop. I love the saying "Just begin," because sometimes getting started is the hardest part of working or creating. Once you get going, at least for me, it seems to go pretty smoothly and quickly...I just have a hard time getting started, and I'm sure I'm not the only one with that problem :)


 
I am also loving the phrase "Shake It Off," as so many other people are too! Cause the haters are gonna hate :) "She Who Dares Wins" is such a good reminder to put yourself out there, that you can't accomplish anything if you don't try. Usually I lean towards creating with color, but black and white just goes with everything. And the chalkboard look is so cool and popular, so I decided to start making black and white "chalkboard look" versions of my signs too. I've also been really into the doodling look, so I will be focusing more on the hand drawn look as well, compared to the use of more computer fonts on my previous signs.

Thanks for stopping by today, hope you have a great day!
 
~Cameo

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Studio Design App For Fun Photo Effects


(Cloud shapes & text in Lobster font)
 
Studio Design is my favorite photo app right now for Instagram! I love all the creative possibilities that are available with this app. You can add text, borders, shapes, frames, sayings, and design icons. You'll find a nice variety and styles of fonts included. Other features include photo filters and easy export to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. There are lots of free design packs to choose from (like the ones I've used below). Plus, there are a bunch of fantastic design packs to purchase for a small fee. It does take some getting used to, but you'll be designing great images in no time.

The Studio Design app is also great for making quotes with your photos or a colored background. My favorite features include: the layers, which you can rearrange for different effects, and the transparency feature for making watermark effects. You can also take a design shortcut (cheat!) by remixing other user's designs by browsing and then tapping the "remix" button. You can also browse and get more Studio ideas by searching #madewithstudio on Instagram or on their social media pages (links below). Give it a try, it's addicting!

Download the Studio App on their website: www.madewithstudio.com
 


{My decoupaged switch plate covers}
 
Made with the Alt Design and Hand Drawn design packs and text.
 

 {Big Kenny at a recent Big & Rich concert}
 
Made with the Jam Session design pack and two black bars at the top and bottom.

{A tasty corn, tomato and avocado salad}
 
Made with the Foodie design pack (red transparent square added behind) and a crop shape. I found the recipe on Pinterest from The Girl Who Ate Everything blog.

 {Fourth of July fair photo}
 
Remixed by user @joshnewton with a pointed transparent shape added behind.
 
{Flower background quote}
 
Made with Inspiration Nation design pack (yellow shadow added) and a transparent flower crop shape.
 
 Remix some of my designs in the Studio App: @blissmade
Instagram: @Blissmade_Designs
 
Thanks for dropping by!
 
~Cameo
 
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