Showing posts from May, 2011

A Spot of Tea personal stationery

I love being involved with the design community. Their design challenges are fun to do and keep me on my toes! I finally had some free time to participate in this recent challenge: personal stationery for Chronicle Books. Check out all of the awesome entries here!
Vote for my
design on minted.
see more from The Lettered Set vote for me!
Check out my competition in Christmas cards and wedding invitations at Minted.

How to create a linen texture in Photoshop

This is a postcard design that I have been working on for my job at University City District. I created the "produce" illustration using watercolor and gouache. After I finished the layout, I decided I needed to add a little depth to the plain background. My latest accomplishment is learning how to create a linen texture in Photoshop. The steps are below.

1. Create a new CMYK document. I like to start with file size that is larger than my printed piece. For this tutorial, I made mine 8" x 8" at 300 dpi. This way, I know my background image will be high resolution at the full size of my printed piece. Fill the background with a yellow or tan "linen" color.
2. Copy the background layer.
3. Select Layer 1 and go to Filter > Add noise. Enter the settings shown below:
4. Still on Layer 1, go to Filter > Motion Blur. Enter the settings shown below:
5. For the linen effect, copy layer 1 into a 2nd layer. Rotate layer 2 90 degrees. Set the style of layer 2 …

Anne Boleyn inspired greeting cards

On this anniversary of Anne Boleyn's death, it is with respectful pleasure that I share my latest project: Anne Boleyn inspired greeting cards. A few months ago, the lovely Natalie from On the Tudor Trail came to me with her idea for an exclusive greeting card line in her shop. I immediately jumped on board with this opportunity to combine my passions for illustration, stationery, and Tudor England. I created each illustration using watercolor and ink on paper. Starting at the top left, the subject matter of each card is as follows: Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn's initials intertwined in a wood relief sculpture, the view from Anne's bedroom window at Hever Castle, Anne's Falcon Crest, Anne's "B" necklace and flowers from her Book of Hours, floral pattern inspired by Anne's Book of Hours. These cards will be available for sale soon. Pre-order information can also be found at

Turquoise and Gold: Elegant baroque-style invitations

I had so much fun working with my friends Kristen and Glenn on their save the dates and wedding invitations. The save the dates were bold and fun (printed balloons!) and the couple wanted something more traditional for their invitations. Using the same turquoise and gold colors, I created a modern baroque design with an ornate custom illustration. Each set includes an invitation, reply card, reply envelope, and driving directions. An antique gold belly belt keeps all of the pieces together. The envelope treatment is almost as extensive as the invitations. Using a custom stamp from Paper Finger, I imprinted the return address on the back flaps of the envelopes. I also lined each envelope with a custom paper liner, designed to match the baroque style of the invitation. I then shipped the envelopes off to Brooklyn where Bryn at Paper Finger worked her calligraphy magic. It was so fun to see the final piece in my mailbox!

Princess birthday party invitations

This is a cute, girly birthday party invitation that I was recently commissioned to design and illustrate. For the watercolor illustration, I was inspired by Cinderella's dress. I love the scene in the Disney movie when the birds are tying the ribbons on her dress. I have always drawn princess dresses with little bows at the hem. I don't think the Duchess of Cambridge had bows on her wedding dress but hey, to each her own.

Lost Acres Vineyard Wine Label Design

Lost Acres Vineyard of North Granby, CT recently held a contest to design the labels for their fall 2011 wines. This was a fun design opportunity for me because not only do I love seeing interesting wine labels but I grew up in Granby, CT. For my entry, I illustrated the vineyard scene, framed by grape vines, with an antique-style map of the area as the background. My husband came up with the name: Shire-az. Get it? The Shire . . . Shiraz? Yes, I love "Lord of the Rings." I'll find out in October if my design is one of the winners!

Harry Potter book covers as Penguin Classics

In my search for new book covers to share, I stumbled across these fantastic cover illustrations by M.S. Corley. Designed to look like Penguin Classics, Mr. Corley reconstructed the covers to look like vintage screen-printed posters. In light of the upcoming theatrical release of the final Harry Potter movie installment, I thought these might be interesting to all of you too. Visit M.S. Corley's blog for a closer look at the complete collection. If only these were for sale!

One-yard Wonders

Remember when I got a sewing machine for Christmas? Well, the recent months have been filled with too many design projects to really explore the wonderful world of sewing. Now that my projects are slowing down (I'm preparing for the whole nesting situation to start around June) I am finally bringing out my new toy. I was recently given a really fun sewing book called One-yard Wonders. It's filled with tons (101 in fact) of projects that can be done with just 1 yard of fabric. There are sections for clothes, craft supplies, furniture decorations, and toys. I am going to delve into the kids section first. I think my first project will be the personalized banner for the baby room. I picked out a few other projects that are next in line!