Friday, January 27, 2012

Shop Talk {Valentines}


I'm excited to share the new products that have just been listed in the Bluestar Ink shop - Valentines! 

One of my goals for 2012 is to create more goods that cater to different seasons and holidays. First up, Valentine's Day! 

For this Love series, I wanted a fresh take on the traditional Valentine's Day card. Utilizing super-saturated colors, illustrations and hand-drawn type, I was able to put the Bluestar spin on love. (or lust, if you're looking at the NAKED card!)

All cards are 1-color screen prints on my favorite French Paper. They will be sold individually with matching envelopes.

So if you're looking for a little color this Valentine's Day, check out the new line of Love cards in the Bluestar Ink shop!

Have a fabulous weekend,

Friday, January 20, 2012

Painted Lyrics {Brunettes}

Okay, so I'm realizing that painting with gouache is MUCH harder than I thought. 

When I was in college and painting with watercolor, I always disliked it because of the transparency and overlapping brushstrokes. Sometimes there were really pretty effects that were created, but I didn't know how to control them. And the lack of opacity meant so much PLANNING - if you wanted white, you better get that figured out before you paint over it and lose that white space forever. In retrospect, I probably didn't give it enough of a chance, since I gave it up as soon as the watercolor section was over and we moved onto another medium.

Anyways, now that I am attempting this gouache thing, I'm finding a lot of the same issues cropping up. It's slightly more opaque, but all of those overlapping issues are still happening. Ugh! This is why I usually color my illustrations digitally, so I can get a nice flat wash of color. Maybe I'm mixing in too much water?

I should probably stop whining - this is why I'm practicing, right? 

This painting is inspired by the song "If You Were Alien" by Brunettes.

If You Were Alien (Album) by Brunettes on Grooveshark

It's such a cute song! It was fun imagining Stephen and I as aliens. And now that I'm finished and looking at it, Stephen's alien outfit reminds me of the Whos in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Little the antennae! Hehe. It makes me laugh.

Oh - and if you get a chance, you should check out this video compilation of the Etsy Plush Team in 2011 - are we a fabulous bunch or what?

Have a great weekend,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Painted Lyrics {Zero 7}


A couple years ago I picked up a nice set of gouache paints to give me another option for coloring my illustrations. I practiced with a few paintings, but I haven't touched them since. Since I've been spending so much of my time graphic-designing, I have really been itching do do something more with my hands. So I decided to break out the paints again. 

I'm assigning myself a mini project: since I listen to music every day while working, I thought I would use it as my inspiration for some mini paintings to hone my gouache skills. 

Today's inspiration is from the song "In the Waiting Line" by Zero 7. Here's the song in case you aren't familiar:

In the Waiting Line by Zero 7 on Grooveshark

I don't want to spend a lot of time on these, since I have plenty of other things to do. I'm going to try to limit myself to 2 or 3 colors to keep it simple. And I don't think I'll do these every day, just when the lyrical inspiration hits. 

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Project {Yoga Mat Bag}

Hello, and Happy Wednesday!

Last Fall, my friend approached me with a request to make her husband a bag for his new yoga mat. She had seen the disc golf bags I had made, and thought I might want to tackle this sewing project. Of course, I'd love to help!

Initially, I thought it would be fairly simple, just a long tube with two circular ends, and found lots of tutorials on the Internet that could guide me. But all of those instructions were for bags with a drawstring closure, and I didn't feel that a drawstring bag was "manly" enough. My hubby agreed. {Insert frustrated growl here.}

Okay, I'll make a bag with a zipper closure. Not too much harder, right? Well, those instructions were MUCH harder to come by. Finally, I found one shop on Etsy with downloadable instructions: Needle and Spatula. That would at least give me a starting point.

Unfortunately, the mat I was making a bag for was bigger than your standard yoga mat. It was wider and thicker. Plus, even though I had it for sizing, it was still in its package which would mean it would expand once unwrapped. I knew I'd have to adjust the instructions for all of the new dimensions, but it was still a shot in the dark, considering I didn't know how MUCH to adjust. I went with 2 inches wider and hoped for the best...

After all the initial freaking out, the execution wasn't too difficult. Lots of steps, the lining and 2 zippers later, I finished up his bag! I upcycled a pair of old corduroy pants for the main body and hand-painted an abstract design on some chartreuse duck cloth for the bottom. Even though I kept thinking "manly", I still wanted to add a pop of color, so I found a cool geometric pattern for the lining. All-in-all, I was really happy with how it turned out.

...And, in case you are wondering, now that Christmas is over, and he received his new yoga mat and bag, turns out the bag could have been a bit bigger to fit his mat. In a very nice way, he told me "he needs to get in a zen mindset when rolling up his mat after yoga class". Ah, well. At least it fits! Now I know for next time - 2 inches isn't quite enough...

Take care,

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

CB Massage {Logo}


Today I'd like to share a logo design I finished up a few months ago. It is for a company called Cindi Bannink Massage, or CB Massage, for short. Cindi is the owner of a successful triathlon training business called Madison Multisport, which I blogged about here. She is also a certified massage therapist, which is a fantastic complement to the triathlon training.

There were a few things she was looking for in her new logo:
- A sense of 'oneness' in the number 3: How it relates to Triathlon; Bringing together Body • Mind • Spirit; An underlying faith in the Trinity
-She liked the color purple, but also wanted something that would complement her Madison Multisport Logo which is turquoise, orange, grey and black.
-Though she works with a lot of athletes, she didn't want it to look too 'sporty' - she wanted something more on the softer side.

With that great feedback, I started sketching. Here are some of the initial sketches:

I focused on three concepts - the letters 'CB', hands (representing massage) and a 3-part icon. I digitized the strongest concepts and sent them to her to get the conversation rolling.

After some discussions and revisions, here is the final logo!

So if you're in the Madison area and need an amazing massage (I've had one!), check out CB Massage!


Monday, January 9, 2012

New Fuzzies {Blankets}


How is 2012 treating you? Well, I hope. Today is my first official work day, now that Stella is back at school. I was really excited to get back to business. The break was great, but I have lots of plans for Bluestar Ink, and I'm anxious to start executing.

First order of business - getting back to blogging! There are a lot of projects I've been working on the last few months which will be nice to share.

I'll start off with some new Fuzzies - blankets!

These little guys are called Ni-Nis, after Stella's favorite blanket whom she'd named Ni-Ni. I'm sure you've seen them - little blankets with a stuffed head attached. They are perfect companions for little hands and not only does the kiddo have a friend, there's a blanket built right in!

Well, seeing how attached Stella has been to her Ni-Ni, I thought making a Fuzzy version would be a great gift for newborns. Plenty of babies have received my Fuzzies when they were born, but the size of the Fuzzies totally dwarfs the itty-bitty babies. These Fuzzy blankets have a smaller head than the classic animals, so they're a much better size for snuggling.

As far as the blanket portion goes, I'm going to utilize the collection of graphic tees I've been accumulating. Plus, there is some satin binding for those kiddos who like lots of different textures.

Since these were my first two attempts, I've been experimenting with the placement of the head: Corner vs. middle. I think I'm leaning towards the middle placement - it's more snuggly - plus I don't have to deal with the satin binding when attaching the head.

What do you think? Are there little babies in your life that may want a new Fuzzy Ni-Ni friend?

Take care,

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

BIG SALE! {2012 Calendars}


I just wanted to let you know about the big sale in my shop. My 2012 calendars have been marked down by 60%!

There are only a few left, so get 'em before the New Year is not so "new"...!

Have a wonderful day,

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Desktop Calendar {January 2012}

Hello and Happy New Year!

I hope y'all had a wonderful holiday season and a great start to 2012. If it wasn't obvious, I took December off from the Bluestar Bloggery so I could focus on all of the Christmas projects that were on my VERY long to-do list. I will post more about those projects later.

For now, though it's a couple days late, I wanted to share my first desktop calendar of 2012:

This guy was inspired by one of my great friends who used to dress up as a bear at our college hockey games. It was so much fun going to games with him, because he was such a super-fan - he just radiated happiness and excitement; but it was also kinda hard to communicate with him through his big bear-head - There was a lot of hopping up-and-down and fist-pumping!

Enjoy your January calendar. You can also download it here.

Please note that this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. 

Happy January!

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