Posts Tagged Self

Something to Reveal

Wow; WordPress had to send me an e-mail reminding me to renew my blog subscription and domain name. That “reveals” to me how long it has been since I last updated this blog. No, I’m not proud of the 6 month hiatus. But I am proud of what I’ve been doing in this time.

This past summer and fall, the house painting project got 90% complete; but a job and the cold weather set in before I could finish. I still have the north gable and trim, as well as the east fascia boards that are primed but not yet painted. I want to use the first few warm Spring weekends to finish painting those areas. Priming and painting the front door a spicy Fireweed red should be another short weekend project. The house currently does not have shutters, but I have envisioned adding a contrasting color by introducing shutters since day 3 (days 1 and 2 were spent bringing the bathroom and kitchen up to speed in this former beat-up rental home).

I have already revealed that I enjoy hunting for old furniture at yard sales and auctions, but I’ve been really good. There have been a few items that have tempted me, but I already have several sets of chairs and a big chest of drawers waiting for a new life, not to mention 3 dining chairs to refinish and reupholster to complete my dining room set.

And the windows. That was probably one of the lengthier projects I have ever undertaken… and technically, not yet finished because I am still without woodwork. Only now I am without woodwork with new windows that are air-tight, water-tight, and so much nicer looking on the outside and soon on the inside. I’m re-using as much of the old woodwork as possible, using mis-matched pieces on the windows where the trim will be painted, and sanding down to bare wood for the windows that will have stained trim. But trimming out each window is a lengthy job; creating a new window sill (So exciting to be getting window sills! The old windows were trimmed without this much-needed ledge); lining the inside of the window opening with 1/2″ thick lumber; and finding the best pieces of used molding to complete the inside trim. To this point (4 windows of 12 total), I have been able to use entirely all salvaged board and trim.

So if you read the title, you might be wondering what I have to reveal. Well, the first hint is that I am going to have to change this blog’s tagline. I am no longer unemployed. It just so happens that I was selected as the Interim Program Manager for my hometown’s Main Street organization! You can read all about it from either our town newspaper, or our town’s online newspaper. From the first week, I have been excited for the challenges and rewards each day brings! I have so many ideas for Van Wert, specifically the downtown, and with my long-time passion for historic preservation, I know I can make a positive impact on this community through Main Street.

What does this mean? Well, firstly I am employed. And it’s more than just a temporary job. It’s an experience job, and so far I love it! The people, the multitude of tasks each day, the office, and the entire downtown district. I am still getting to know the business owners and learning about their businesses, in hopes that I can be as beneficial as possible to them. Fortunate for me, the guy I replaced was very willing to come in periodically and walk me through different responsibilities and answer the multitude of questions I need answered. No, its not as a designer; but I truly enjoy working where I can make a positive impact in people’s lives, and I get to spend my evenings and weekends doing design and construction, my other passion.

So what are my other goals for this Spring and ultimately this year? I’d like to find a nice screened storm door for the front so that I can enjoy the Spring and Summer breeze.

I have been thinking about how nice it would be to have a small gabled awning over the back door, not only to help protect the door from the elements, but to keep myself dry when I stand bumbling for the house key in the rain. And I think it would help give the side door a friendlier look. Something similar to this:

Or this one.

Similar to how ours would look, as I could easily move the light from the its current position beside the door to above. Also, our utility room window is just about the same distance the left of the door.



Cards in Hand

My first official business cards are in. It has only been a few days since I wrote about designing them and placing the order (which you can read here), so by now you know 1 of 2 things: Either my mail carrier rides a jet pack or I blog about things about a week after they actually happen. Shipping for these took just about two weeks exactly from the date I placed the order online through Vistaprint. But now onto the cards.

As I mentioned before, I uploaded my own images to the Vistaprint website as high quality JPG files (600 DPI to be exact). The website interface was easy to use and they offer a PDF proof of how your order will look before you make your purchase. The cards arrived in a medium cardboard box with a much smaller box inside containing the cards. While the outer cardboard box was surprisingly mauled (must be from the USPS jet packs?), the smaller box inside as well as the actual cards themselves arrived unharmed.

The spacing of the graphics on each side is perfect and the print quality is great! My only minor complaint is that the text on the back of the cards is not a true black; it is more like dark brown. The colors in general are just a bit yellowed to me, but that’s getting nit picky. I’m wondering if that is because I uploaded a JPG file rather than the original Photoshop PSD file. But it doesn’t matter all that much. Overall, I am really pleased with the quality and the look of the cards. With their affordable prices, I will definitely use this printing website in the future.

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Down to Business, Cards

My favorite category on Wheel of Fortune is Same Name. Can you tell? Down to Business. Business Cards… Nevermind.

If you didn’t get the Wheel reference, at least you will know from the title that I have designed myself some business cards. I’m not sure where this freelance thing might lead, but I am definitely not going to pass up any opportunities either. Because I’ve had several people ask for my contact info, I spent a few days working in my spare time on a simple business card design. This is probably the first step in branding myself and I am pleased with the outcome. I’m not saying this will be a permanent brand image or anything, but it works for now. The colors are masculine and I feel the simple cube and lines image can be used in so many ways.

Here are some great business cards I came across for inspiration. Each one makes simple use of color and blocks of text. Although simple, each is unique and defines a brand. The third, being that of a photographer, uses a great black and white photograph with the bold yellow.

I didn’t want anything as bold as the yellow card, but just text on a white background was too simple. I used a great color book to find colors I felt expressed myself, my brand and the work I can do. Titled Color Index, by Jim Krause, it was a gift from a close friend during my early years of college and I use it all the time for graphic and web colors.

The square shape was a result of sketching in my spare time. I originally liked the idea of two lines at a right angle, creating 3 different line lengths. Then I realized I could create the illusion of lines with three blocks of color, getting both the lines and colors in one simple shape. Although I plan to use the block in proportion most of the time, it makes a great stripe on the front of my card by extending it horizontally.

That being said, here is the final card design. The outline isn’t on the actual cards, I added it so you can see the card better on a white background.

The front.

And the back.

I didn’t order a huge quantity, only 250 from Vistaprint. Their online design interface is pretty easy. I just uploaded high quality JPG files the exact size of the card front and back. They should be in sometime this week. When they arrive, you can be sure I will post an update about what I think of their print and card stock quality.

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