Monday, April 25, 2011

Gardening Easter Basket

As much as I enjoy making gift baskets, I enjoy receiving them as well! Look at this adorable gardening themed Easter basket that Aunt Mary gave us. She made one for each couple this Easter. 

Gardening gloves (you can never have enough of those), a spade and a tomato plant. As the tomato plant grows, it will remind us of the new life that Jesus Christ gave us through His death and resurrection. Well put Aunt Mary.  

Along with jelly beans, milk chocolate and oh-so-rich-homemade-Ohl-family-tradition peanut butter eggs. Sugar? Check. 

Add some ribbon and a silk flower for decoration. What a cute blessing. You could pick up these items and make your own basket for not a lot of money. It would make a great housewarming, Mother's/Father's day or gardening-lovers gift. 

This guy was very interested in it as well.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

"But he was wounded for our transgressions,
he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
and with his stripes we are healed."
Isaiah 53:5 
There is love that came for us
Humbled to a sinner's cross
You broke my shame and sinfulness
You rose again victorious

Faithfulness none can deny
through the storm and through the fire
there is truth that sets me free
Jesus Christ who lives in me
You are stronger, You are stronger
Sin is broken, You have saved me
it is written, Christ is risen
Jesus You are Lord of all

No beginning and no end
You're my hope and my defense
You came to seek and save the lost
You paid it all upon the cross

You are stronger, You are stronger
Sin is broken, You have saved me
it is written, Christ is risen
Jesus You are Lord of all
So let your name be lifted higher,
Be lifted higher, be lifted higher
So let your name be lifted higher,
Be lifted higher, be lifted higher

You are stronger, You are stronger
Sin is broken, You have saved me
it is written, Christ is risen
Jesus You are Lord of all
Stronger, by Hillsong
This song beautifully says it all. I've been singing it in my head throughout the week, thinking about Resurrection Sunday. The day we remember when Jesus Christ died and rose from the grave, conquering sin and death. His love and salvation made available to all. His grace is all-inclusive and all-forgiving, to those that call upon His name.

Our God is greater
Our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer
Awesome in Power
Our God, Our God
And if our God is for us
then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us
Then what could stand against?
Our God is Greater, by Chris Tomlin
My prayer is that you would know Jesus this Easter, and experience His life-giving gift of Salvation. He paid it all. For you!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Summer in a Plastic Cup

It's almost two years ago to the day that we were in sunny Florida, with our friends Ben and Christy. Soaking up the sun. Lounging by the pool. Chillaxin' and living the easy life. Man, I need a vacation! 

It was there that Christy introduced me to my favorite iced drink at Starbucks (thank you Christy!) I still have to mentally prepare, every time I order it. Pay close attention, here it is:

Shaken Iced Passion Tea Lemonade (Sweetened, Light Ice)
(I think I got it right)

It's not specifically on the menu, but the barrista's  always know what it is. I ask for light ice or else they fill the whole cup with ice and you barely get any of the good stuff. I would also recommend ordering at least a grande if not a venti. If you like sweet and tart refreshment, you'll love it. This drink makes me feel like summer, even when it's not. Like today. Snow. In April. I drank one anyway. It made me feel better.  

I know it's made with Tazo Passion tea, but I don't know what brand of lemonade they use. Or how much sweetener they put in. I've attempted to make it myself at home and it always yields disappointing results. Starbucks knows what their doing. That's why they can charge as much as they do. I'm going to need to consult my Starbucks employee friends for the recipe. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

15 More Seconds of Fame

The second episode of the Nate Berkus show that we sat in the audience for, aired today. The celebrity guest was Bethenny Frankel "Real Housewives of NYC," and we were even CLOSER to the stage this time. I labeled the above photo so you could see where we were. Pardon my sad Photoshop arrows. 

This time all three of us were there. I think the camera liked us. It helped that were seated behind all of the speaking guests. 

It still cracks me up to see us on TV. Do other people get this excited? In case you were wondering, both shows happened on the same day, which means, yes, we changed our outfits. We couldn't be seen wearing the same clothes twice!

Anxiously awaiting the couples makeover reveal. 

Christy, nodding in agreement that the makeovers took years off their appearance. It really did. 

If you would like to check out the episode "Taking Risks", here is one of the links. Look for me in the pink shirt!


I promise I won't bore you with any more of my television appearances :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Some Favorite Graphic Design Related Sites

Good design ideas don't appear out of thin air. At least they usually don't for me. There are many things that inspire me. Including a few favorite design and packaging websites. If you're a creative or in need of some inspiration, here are a few sites that I find helpful (in no particular order). 

Color Schemer
Browse and create your own color palettes

Before and After Magazine
Downloadable PDF tutorials on basic design

Colors, products and guides for accurate color communication
Free downloadable fonts

Font Squirrel
More free downloadable fonts

When you're in a pinch and need free vector art or graphics

Free Photoshop brushes

Brush King
More free Photoshop brushes

Texture King
Free stock textures

The Dieline
The world's #1 package design website

Lovely Package
More package design

Global brands and industry news

Brands of the World
Download vector logos of well known brands

Logo Pond
Identity inspiration

Logo Faves
Logo design inspiration gallery

That should be enough to get your creative juices flowing :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Felt Easter Card and Envelope

When I was making monogrammed felt bags, I got the idea to make an Easter card with a little chick on it, out of felt. It was very easy. I started with one sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch white card stock, which I lightly scored then folded in half. I cut out felt shapes to make green grass, a light blue egg and a yellow chick with a pink beak, which I carefully sewed, piece by piece to the card stock. I used my sewing machine and white thread. You could sew on any shapes you like. Add a googly eye - those things crack me up!
Then I needed an envelope. Since the card size was rather large (5.5 x 8.5 inches), I used one sheet of 12 x 12 inch scrapbook paper. I folded the left and right sides in at 3 inches, the bottom flap up at 1 inch, and the top flap down at 2 inches. Then I cut down and across to remove the side flap corners that were not needed.

I used my corner rounder punch for the top and bottom flaps to give them a nice finished edge. 
Using a glue stick, I glued the center flap then the bottom flap. 

Fold down the top of the envelope and you're done! Now you have a cute handmade Easter card and envelope. These would be fun to make with kids.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Monogrammed Felt Bag Tutorial

This Easter, we're going to visit family in Pennsylvania, and we'll get to see two of our nieces, Sydney (5) and Morgan (2), who live in Ohio. I wanted to give each of them a little gift, so I thought of making them felt bags to hold some crafty goodies (and some M&M's). Laura, if you're reading this, don't let the girls see what they're getting!

A little sketch pad and some stickers. When I was little, I couldn't get enough stickers! (I still love stickers) And some age appropriate markers/paint (washable of course). 

I seem to have an abundance of felt in my craft closet, so that's what I used. Two pieces per bag, and some extra felt for the monogram and circle.

Felt sizes vary. This one was 12 inches by 9 inches.
Cut TWO PIECES OF FELT like the photo above:
-One 12 inch by 2 inch piece will be the handle
-Two 7 inch by 7 inch squares for the front and back
-Three 7 inch by 2.5 inch pieces for the left side, right side, and bottom
(You will have two pieces leftover)

Your pieces should look like this. Cut a 4 inch circle out of a different color. Draw a letter for the monogram on another color and cut it out. 

Sew the letter to the circle. Then sew the circle to the front of a 7 inch by 7 inch square. Make sure its front and center. 

For this bag, I wanted the seams to be outward. No need for turning inside out or perfection. Stack one of the 7 inch by 2.5 inch strips under the bottom of the 7 inch by 7 inch square front. Sew it to the bottom edge. Then sew the other end to the other 7 inch by 7 inch square back. 

Here's a closeup view. If they don't line up perfectly, it's ok. The side panels will fix that. That's what makes it handmade, right?

Next, sew the two remaining 7 inch by 2.5 inch strips (side panels) to the bottom flap. You don't have to sew quite all the way to the edges. When you sew up the sides, you will sew all the way down, and connect the corners. It should look like a cross. Above is the inside view.
This is the outside view. 
Now sew up all the sides. Line them up, pin in place if needed, and sew the front to the side panels and the back to the side panels. I started at the top (the opening of the bag) and sewed down to the bottom (making sure to connect the corners). 
When you're done, it should look like this, and be able to stand up. It's just needs a handle. 
 Sew the 12 inch by 2 inch handle to the top of the side panels. 
Now you have an adorable felt bag, perfect for giving Easter, birthday or anytime goodies! 

And it's personalized with their initial. As you can see, I had a little trouble sewing on the "S". The "M" was much easier! 

Easy to make and fun to give!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sarah & Nathan's Wedding

Last Friday, our friends Sarah and Nathan tied the knot! They had a beautiful ceremony followed by a fun reception with many personalized touches. I had the privilege of designing some of their wedding day details, which followed their yellow and gray "love bird" theme. 

Sarah and Nathan had an idea for a guest seating arrangement display. This photo of a "tree" with tags was their inspiration. How cool is that? 

The wheels in my head starting turning. Based on their wedding invitation, I came up with a tag design, the size of a vertical business card, with a hole and a ribbon. 

Nathan gathered some branches, spray painted them white, and secured them upright in boxes with moss. The guest seating tags were displayed on the branches. Way more creative than folded cards sitting on a table. They looked great!  

I designed two-sided table number cards to match, that would hang from balloons on each table. Love this idea too! 

I also designed their wedding ceremony program. It was so fun to be able to help with these finishing touches.

I like the way they incorporated their colors and bird theme throughout their wedding. They even had their initials in yellow. And a couple of bird cages around the room.

I also liked the cupcakes! How fun is that? 

Those things were delicious! Chocolate peanut butter. Cranberry Orange. Signature chocolate. This bride and groom had the best ideas! 

They even had yellow chick marshmallow peeps at each place setting. 

And candy jars with goody bags to take home. Including lolly pops with their names on them. The cuteness was killing me!

Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Wegman! We are so happy for you and blessed that we could celebrate with you! My God bless your new life together in every way.