Category Archives: making

“super” raffle posters

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I haven’t been to bed before midnight in a week, and I’ve promised myself to be there by ten tonight. That’s in eleven minutes, so I’m typing at breakneck speed – I’ll do a quick edit in the morning and then post this. I’m just so excited to have a camera again, and so I’ve been playing around with it some this weekend. I shot some of these photos early this morning, and I was pretty rushed to get out the door to set up for the annual soiree at the girls’ elementary school. I’m glad I took the time to take the photographs though, I love to look back on these each year. There are a few process shots thrown in as well.

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This year’s theme was Super Soulard Soiree – it had a pop art / comic book / super hero kind of vibe to it. I decided to take this really bold, graphic approach with paper as my medium, which gave the posters a really nice handcrafted feel. The top poster above was the crowd favorite, and the last one that I completed. E punched green paper with a hole punch for an hour while I glued the dots on in a grid to form the planet. Then I used two shades of gray to make the buildings, assembling them around the globe. I wove curved rainbow streamers through the building, and this poster was called “Save the World”. It featured lots of civic and good citizen minded prizes, plus a large gift certificate to Peacemaker Lobster & Crab just around the corner from us.

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I loved this second poster – “Kryptonite”. The description asked “What’s your kryponite?” – carbs, beer, working out, etc. I drew inspiration for the background from Lichentstein’s Still Life with Crystal Bowl, and cut dozens of black strips of paper. Then I made dimensional green kryptonite exploding in the center. I love the way it turned out. A bird pooped on it at the end of the event, so maybe pigeon poop is your kryptonite!

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The idea I got most excited about was for this third poster, “What’s Your Super Power?” The prize was full of experiences – music, art, fitness – so many different things to try out and explore. I decided to take inspiration from Warhol’s Campbell’s soup cans, and opened three of them, with some comic book bubbles asking the questions Could I? Should I? Maybe I Will. At one point I entertained the idea of doing the Campbell’s logo, but even I have my limits. I actually like the simplicity here.

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The last poster was “Lightning Power for a Rainy Day” – it had so many awesome things to do in the summer when it’s raining outside. I had plenty of inspiration for this one last week. The BAM! in the center is dimensional with gold and red sticking out, and I love how the white dot pattern – stretched out into raindrops – turned out. Lots of measuring and marking on these four posters to get them to turn out right.

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The afternoon was perfect – sunny, 70, with a light breeze. The decorations were so much fun – my friend Becky orchestrated all of that, and there was a great crew there Sunday morning setting everything up.

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I’ve heard rumors it was the most successful soiree to date – which is really exciting to hear after all the hard work from everyone.

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I “borrowed” a few of the centerpieces, and tucked them around the house. I was seriously worn out by dinner time, but rallied to do a few more things before bed. My goal this week is to be in bed by 10pm each night – we’ll see how that works out! It was nice to celebrate and visit with friends on such a beautiful afternoon.

holiday wrappings

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I’m never really sure where I’m going to end up each Christmas when I start putting packages together. This year I found myself gravitating towards these ‘peacock’ colored envelopes for my cards, and so I ended up picking up some wrapping paper in the same color. I had some gold twine on hand, and some coppery paper scraps that I thought might look good with it, so I decided to fully embrace the metallics and picked up a long (and slightly tacky) garland that I cut into smaller pieces. I think they sort of resemble feathers.

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They work well for traveling – they stack easily and don’t get smashed in the process. I went looking for boxes for baking items, and found these shiny peacock colored ones – only they photograph as bright blue because of their shininess, so they don’t look so matchy in these photos.

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We packaged up a dozen of our ginger-apricot-chocolate cookies with some Naughty Vicar from The London Tea Room for friends’ gifts, and I delivered most of those last night before heading over to watch the rest of the family, and E’s youth group, ice skating in Forest Park.

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I have the teacher gifts put together as well – I’ll probably send those with E tomorrow, even though school’s not out for another week. These are good sizes for middle school teachers – it gets a little trickier when the kids have eight teachers, but we still like to so something sweet for them for the holidays. We made a holiday assembly line on Tuesday night and knocked out all the string tying and box assembling and labeling, and yesterday afternoon was a marathon baking session at the house. We had girls scouts making six dozen cookies for a local charity, and then I also made the majority of our baked gifts. Just a couple more making items for next weekend, and we’re wrapped up.

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portrait wall beginnings

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I’m not sure why I never posted this after the holidays, but I thought about it this weekend since Father’s Day is approaching. I find that buying gifts for my husband is tricky sometimes. He has lots of interests, but not the kind of hobbies that lend themselves to new gear purchases. He’s very tall and thin, and typically has to order clothing to fit, so it’s also not really easy to spot a nice shirt and pick it up for a gift. I’m actually excited this year about our Father’s Day gifts that the girls and I picked out, but I can’t talk about those here quite yet. But I thought I’d share what we gave him for Christmas this past year.

M spent a ton of time last year working on the stair hall that goes through the center of our house – painting, updating light fixtures, final fittings on the stair treads, etc. On the middle floor we have a great wall for hanging portraits, and once some of the other projects start wrapping up, I’d like to start building that. I thought a neat way to fill it would be to commission portrait work from different artists each year. I started with Paul Ferney last year, and commissioned these two pieces.

I chose a picture of each girl, and this time I focused on our favorite place – the beach – and two activities that make me think of M and the way he loves to play at the beach with each girl. The underwater shot of E is one that M took while goofing off in the pool, flipping and splashing and diving. I love the light and everything about it. (I also loved Ferney’s beach paintings, so I knew this was a good match.)

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The one of F makes me think of the quieter moments at the beach – the way M gets the umbrellas positioned just right for shade, and the way we sit under them and relax. This particular photo of F is the start of a colossal city of sand that M helped her build all afternoon. It had roads and bridges and tunnels and towers. It was one of my favorite afternoons ever, just watching them work, chasing the shade as the sun moved through the sky.

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I’ve got plenty of ideas for future pieces – some local artists, some distant ones. (And maybe a few in our own house!) If you’ve got someone you’d recommend, please let me know in the comments. I’d love to take a look at their work.