I promise. I know it’s been a couple weeks, but I have a post filled with holiday gold coming up….thanks for hanging in there with me while I figure out how to work full-time AND do design….



So I’ve been more MIA lately that I thought I would. Life changed really fast within the last two weeks, and what I thought was going to be an occasional day or two in my dad’s office, actually abruptly became a full-time gig last Monday. It was a surprise, but oddly, an answer to prayer. I’m frustrated and excited at the same time. Frustrated that design has to go somewhat on the back-burner for a little while, but excited that God has allowed me to help out my parents and also allowed me to have a more regular salary! Hooray! I smell a down payment on a house…:)

So with that said, I will try and post as often as a I can about design projects and fun things that are happening. I have some clients right now whose designs I am working on while working full-time and I definitely feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get done everything that needs to get done. Our lifestyle has completely changed, and instead of me being home everyday when my husband gets home from work, I now get home a few hours after him. So it’s a big change!

But since this weekend was Halloween, I thought I’d post about these delicious caramel apples that my husband and I made to take to a friend’s Halloween party on Saturday night. And by delicious, I mean mushy. Some of them weren’t that crunchy and my friends are great and ate them anyways, because the caramel and the chocolate were so good. :)

Here are the pictures! (Instead of going upstairs and getting the actual camera, I just grabbed my iphone, so these will have to suffice! :)

To get that waxy coating off the apples, you have to soak them in hot water and then rub it off with a towel.

We bought wooden dowels from Walmart and pounded them in with a hammer. It worked really well!

The first one…

And then we rolled them in this:

And this:

Mmmmmm…brown sugar and chopped up chocolate chips….

And the finished beauts:

Yum. They made my house smell like a candy factory and it was great. Next time around, though, I’d make my own caramel instead of using the caramel cubes because the candy caramel hardens immediately and it was hard to push the toppings on, AND it dried like CEMET to the wax paper, so I ended up using cooking spray on one of the cookie sheets and that worked a lot better. But overall it was fun, and a little time-consuming, but otherwise tasty.

I’m thinking I may make caramel apples as place cards for a Holiday dinner…wouldn’t that be fun?

I hope you enjoyed your Monday! And I hope you have a great week. :)


Is it nap time yet? 😉 I’m sure ready to rest! It’s been a busy few weeks, and I’m in some major need of some R&R. Not to mention I’ve got a wee little cold that doesn’t seem to be turning into a real cold, it’s just making me feel just off enough to be annoying. You know what I mean? Hopefully this weekend I’ll be able to nip it in the bud before the busy week starts. But for now…it’s:

So I thought I’d share another invitation suite with you! This one has simple, elegant fonts, and a timeless, refined design. These invites were for long-time family friends of my brother’s and it was my gift to them. Their colors were white, ivory, and dark eggplant with some silver accents. I like their simplicity and their elegance. They were printed on… (everybody with me now!), Classic Linen in Avon Brilliant White. Have I mentioned that I love Classic Linen? 😉

So here’s the invitation:

I repeated the ornamental flourish at the top on the background like a watermark. (In the picture it looks really pink, but it was a light shade of ivory.)

Here’s the RSVP:

And the RSVP and Invite together:

For their Invite Suite, we did a Direction Card with a custom map, and a smaller business card-size Info Card that had their website and Registry Info on it.

To break things up a bit, these two pieces were printed the exact opposite of the Invite and RSVP with full-color backgrounds of purple, and a lighter purple watermark flourish.

And the fonts I used are:

Hope you liked the invites! I will have to do another post on the process that these invitations took, but as I have been writing this post, my cold has decided to become a real cold, so I think it’s time to get off the computer and rest…

Hope you have a healthy weekend! :)

Well, we’re back! We spent a long weekend in the Midwest with my sister-in-law and her husband and two boys, and it was really fun. We haven’t seen them since last Christmas, so it had been awhile! Our second nephew was born in July, so we got to meet him for the first time and he is a cutie. He has these big, wonderful blue eyes and the first time I saw them, he was staring up at me from his car seat, total deer-in-the-headlights, and his eyes were so big and so full of terror because I wasn’t Mama, that he burst into tears until Mama pulled the car over and comforted him. He was just scared of this new person, that’s all. And after that, we were good to go, and he would see me and I would smile or coo at him and his face would break into this precious little smile and he would giggle. So me and him? We’re good now. :) Our older nephew could not get enough of his Uncle this weekend and constantly went around saying his name or begging him to come play, or running up to him and lifting his arms so that my husband would pick him up. It was really cute. But now we’re back, and I’m getting back into the swing of things and have lots of design projects on the docket.

But I thought I’d share some fun pictures from the weekend! We got to go to an apple orchard on Saturday and it was a lot of fun. We don’t get some much of that authentic fall feel in California, so being in an apple orchard where all the trees were turning and the sun had that distant-but-intense fall feel, was really great. And they had these awesome apple cider donuts, which are basically donut churros, and they are DELICIOUS. So what if I’ve got a little wheat allergy….that donut was goooood. :) So enjoy the pictures of our weekend, and I’ll be back on Friday with a fun design post!

It was so windy in the pumpkin patch! My hair kept blowing everywhere.

Isn’t the orchard logo so fun? I love the tree and the little basket of apples. And for some reason I love the blurry picture of my husband going through the orchard! Haha.

Have a great Wednesday!

I thought about doing a post on some awesome “Medically-Inspired” uniforms (aka scrubs), because my life is taking a little detour from the design department, but then I actually tried to go buy some scrubs and was pretty horrified at the patterns I saw out there. So I shall stick with solids. Like this one:

(Image taken from here: www.uniformadvantage.com)

Not to worry, I am still doing design as my primary job, but my family was in a little crunch, and because I have a flexible job, and am the only child within proximity to my dad’s office, I will be helping out from time-to-time at the front desk.

Oh yeah.

I get to wear scrubs and call my dad “Doctor” and my mom “Cathy” and it’s pretty hilarious until one of them calls me “Sweetie” and then I’m back to being 12. But the cool thing is getting to hear people say how much they love my parents–even before they know I’m “THE DAUGHTER”. All in all, it’s been good to be in the office and actually be an integral part of the function of it; I like being able to help my parents out and also being able to get some socialization. Working as a freelance graphic designer has its drawbacks and one of them is not being around people during the day. And for someone who likes to be around people, it’s been a hard adjustment. So this “working in an office” is a good mental break from design, and allows me to stimulate the other parts of my brain that don’t get worked as much. And it gives my creative side a little rest so that I’m more excited to get back to design when I’m not in the office.

Here’s a funny story, that might actually only be funny to my siblings. Or you. If you grew up in a medical/dental family. Growing up, I would hear my parents talk to one another about “tooth # so-and-so has a problem on the occlusal side blah blah blah” and I would think they were so silly talking to each other like that, and then today as my dad walked through the front desk area, I swung in my chair and said to him: “Dr. A called about this patient and he said she has a slight chip on #15 distal and he wanted you to know.” And as the words were coming out of my mouth, I thought “Hey there, looks who’s talking dental!” And then as I was leaving the office, I turned to him and said “Dad. We just had a DENTAL conversation!! #15 DISTAL! Hahaha” And I got a big laugh out of him. Who knew that I would talk dental one day? (Oh, and if you’re wondering, a cleaning is called a “Prophy.” Take that!)

Another funny story: I called my kindergarten teacher today to schedule her next cleaning. Did I know I was calling my kindergarten teacher? No. I just thought I was calling a patient of my dad’s. Not until she said, “Are you the daughter? I was your teacher!” that it all clicked. So next Tuesday, my kindergarten teacher gets to meet me, 21 years later.

So that’s what’s been happening over here with me, and why the blog has been a little funky lately. If for some reason I don’t post one day, it’s because I’m busying takin’ calls and makin’ appointments and preppin’ charts. In my scrubs and my awesome white leather Keds. Because you can’t work in a dental office and not have white leather Keds. It’s part of the uniform, my friends. And just in case you’re wondering, the shoes I really wanted are these:

But I’m not sure they’d fly for office-wear. (They are my wedding colors though, so I guess you could say that I’m predictable?) But seriously. I want these shoes. Maybe for Christmas? 😉 (I’ve already told my husband where he can get them hahaha).

But my design work will still be happening regardless of me being in the office, so I’ll be sure to post current projects as often as I can.

Oh, and just in case you thought I’d totally forgotten about the Office Re-do, don’t fear! October got swallowed by the Busy Monster, and I talked to my padre today and we *finally* set a time to do it: November. We will be painting, and bead-boarding, and putting up new artwork, along with freshening up the plants. I’m excited! Sorry that it’s taken so long to get going on it…life just got in the way. But now that I’m going to be working there, re-doing it is on the TOP of my list! :)

AND, in an effort to post some inspiration, feast your eyes on this: www.minted.com. I know it’s not even Halloween yet, and it drives me crazy when I hear Christmas songs in the beginning of October, but really, you should look at these cards. They are beautiful! And after going through hundreds of them, I am sufficiently inspired to design our Christmas card for this year….

Hope you’re having a great Wednesday!


Hey there!

We had a fun and restful weekend here at KWD and were able to do a bunch of things around the house. Like clean the bathrooms and the kitchen and head out to the garage to *finally* get some projects done that we’d been waiting to do. My husband built himself a wood-holding rack (which I’m pretty impressed by), and I was able to paint a lamp, a table, and stain and distress a little orange crate. Here are the contenders:

This little orange crate was a gift from my mom-in-law; she gave it to us after our wedding. Our wedding was country-themed and it was in Redlands, and she was actually able to borrow a vintage orange crate from one of the orange growers in the area for our wedding decor, and she knew that I loved it and wanted to keep it–which I couldn’t- so she bought me this little one instead!

And here’s the lamp I painted:

My mom handed this lamp off to me last year sometime and I actually spray-painted it red and then didn’t have a spot for it, so it’s just been sitting in our garage collecting dust.

I have been wanting to add a small side-table in the corner where our couch and chair meet, and I needed a lamp for it, and thought that this one would be perfect! (Read: Free!)

And last, but not least, we have this beauty of a table:

Isn’t it ugly?! I had tested a bunch of paint colors on it before we got married, and I’ve been carting it around for about 2 years like that. Why? I have no idea. I think this table cost $5 to begin with, and is pretty cheap looking. The wood would probably give you splinters if you ran your hand down the leg.

So I decided to just paint it white so that it matched our other furniture. We had some old white paint that I decided to use, and it was super gloppy and gooey and you know what? I didn’t even care. Since this table was so cheap and it was going in a corner, if it didn’t look perfect, it didn’t matter.

Here are the goods:

For the crate:

And for the table:

My goal with these projects wasn’t perfection; I wanted the crate to be darker and look more used, so I just layered the stain until I liked the color. Then I hit it with a big, fat, wrench, and then I banged it on the wall a couple times. (Except when I hit the stucco and there was a big, white, gouge out of the side, and I didn’t like the white on the crate, so I stained over it.) :)

The primer for the lamp was this great gray color:

And we liked it so much after it was all primed that I brought it inside to see how it would look on the table! But the gray just didn’t work in our living room; just one-too-many colors going on, and even though it’s a great color, we decided to do black or white. (And this spray paint takes about 5 minutes to dry, so that’s pretty awesome.)

Here is the table after one coat, already looking so much better:

And after about six coats of stain, here is my finished crate, sitting on my coffee table holding the tv remotes and coasters:

Don’t you think it looks more authentic now? I do. :)

Here is the finished table, tucked away in it’s corner:

So much better than the rainbow-colors that it was before.

The lamp ended up being black, which I may change to white if I decide to keep it on the table. It’s kind of an awkward corner of the living room, because in our apartment, there is no divider between living room and dining room. And our dining table is on the carpet. (It drives me crazy.) There is already a tall floor lamp in the corner, and I stuck the table up against it and it might work…I’m not sure. So here are the choices:

Table with black (or white) lamp, (with a new correctly-sized shade):

(Don’t you love my awesome slipcovers? 😉 They constantly look like un-made beds and they, too, drive me crazy.)

Or the second option with the tall, metal, floor lamp:

I keep going back and forth on which one looks better…any suggestions?

But all in all, I’m excited to have done those projects this weekend, and been able to check something off my project list. Even if the table isn’t the greatest, it’s hidden in a corner, and I’ll probably toss it when we move, anyways. And I love that crate and can’t wait to see where it ends up in our next place. And the lamp? Well, we’ll see what happens with that.

Hope Monday isn’t getting you down! :)

It’s Friday! And time is flying by. I can hardly believe that it’s already October. Pretty soon Christmas will be upon us! I’m excited for Christmas, but maybe if it came in six months instead of TWO.

The other day I sat down and started my list of Christmas gifts, because, really, it’s not that far away! This year we’re trying to be really frugal with our gifts, and I’m up for the challenge of doing a lot of hand-made gifts to save some money. Last year we went a little overboard on gifts for everyone, and while it was really fun to buy it all and give people gifts that we knew they would love, it was just a tad bit expensive for us. So this year, we’re reigning ourselves in a little. And plus, we are trying to save for a house. So that’s kind of a big deal. :)

Now, Christmas has nothing to do with this post, so I’ll stop talking about it. It’s not even Halloween yet, sheesh!

But I did want to share some fun fonts on an invitation suite that I did for a dear client of mine who is getting married next month. Because it’s:

The feel of their wedding is kind of 1920’s East Coast and their reception is at The Madison Restaurant in Long Beach, so I designed a suite that fit the vibe they were looking for. We printed everything on Neenah Classic Linen–my favorite–in Classic Natural White for that warm ivory feel, and used the blackest black ink and a beautiful fall red color as an accent. I wanted the suite to be heavy on fonts and really bring out that vintage feel they were looking for, so instead of having a really bold design, I did a refined pattern and background design with some bolder fonts. It was a fun way to change things up a bit and focus more on the typography of the invitation.

I’m pretty thrilled with how they turned out, and so were they. Here is the whole suite:

(Some little bits of info have been blurred for their privacy. :))

Let’s start with the “Save the Dates”:

We did a postcard-style “Save the Date”, instead of a card with an envelope.

Here’s the invite and outer envelope:

We also did an mini RSVP card in lieu of a more traditional card and envelope. They wanted all the traffic directed to their website, so we just had this little info card that directed people there, with a little space where they could fill in the number of guests:

Kaitie and Justin are really thoughtful, and decided to have an Open House after they get married for people who aren’t able to travel down for the wedding. Here is that piece:

I carried the border pattern that you see around the invitation, over to the back of the Open House and RSVP pieces:

The coolest thing is that the pattern really closely matches the pattern on the china at The Madison Restaurant. I love it when things come together like that! :)

All in all, the suite turned out beautifully with all the pieces complementing each other with subtle variations on the fonts and the pattern.

Now, here are the goods! The fonts that I used on this invitation suite are:

What do you think? Do you like the idea of different typefaces and a refined pattern, or a bold pattern and a refined typeface? (I think both are great, it just depends on what look you’re going for). :)

I hope you’ve enjoyed the invites today, and enjoy this wonderful fall weather.

Have a great weekend; I’ll be back on Monday with a fun post!

(I’ll probably be in an iphone coma by then, because I just got my very first iphone last night and I can’t put it down…oh technology!) :)

Since it’s been raining here for the last three days, all I want to do is stay inside. So I thought I’d post some Wednesday inspiration of awesome indoor spaces, courtesy of our friend Ikea.

(I don’t know how you Pacific Northwesterners do it–I don’t feel like going running at all when it’s raining outside…)

Here is the story behind these pictures: I found these pictures about a week ago when I was looking around on the internet for inspiration for my future house. Two weeks ago, we thought we’d maybe found our future home, and I was trying not to get to excited about it, but it was a historic Craftsman Bungalow, so how could I not get excited?! And then we found out from the realtor yesterday that it had sold. I shed about two tears, my husband gave me a big hug, and then we started looking for another house. (The right one will be out there, I just know it.)

Because the little place we were looking at was a small bungalow, it had really limited space and limited storage. My husband has seven billion books, so I thought something like this would solve our book-storage problem:

Or this:

(It even show you the bookcases we would get. Those Billy bookcases are gems…) Check out this post here to see what Layla and Kevin did with a couple of those bookcases…

This little living room would fit the bill quite nicely:

And how about this for a tiny entry:

Those babies hold shoes! Which make them perfect for a narrow entryway.

And this is my favorite:

We were envisioning something like this for the master bedroom, with the bed behind where the photographer was standing. Isn’t it awesome? And again, solves our book-storage dilemma.

I love each one of these spaces. I could just curl up in them, and they seem perfect to spend a rainy day in.

And now I have some more Bungalow thoughts I need to get out of my head:

I kind of liked the idea of a little house instead of a huge one. I liked the challenge of it. Of paring down what we have to keep only the stuff that we need and stuff that means something to us, and to live happily in a small space. The house had a yard–a BACK YARD, people!–so the space would have definitely been live-able. (I had actually started purging our place of excess stuff…just papers and stuff that piled up in the office, because I thought we might be down-sizing a bit in the near future).

But maybe we’ll find another adorable bungalow and it will be even better than the first.

Yes. That’s a good plan. I think it’ll happen! :)

So what is your inspiration for living spaces? Do you like big and open? Airy or muted? I’d love to know!

Hope you’re having a happy Wednesday…

(Disclaimer: all the above photos are from Ikea.com. I did not take them, style them, or create them. I just love them.)

Well hi! I can’t believe that it’s Monday today. I feel like between now and last Monday, an entire year happened.

This weekend we went to my husband’s 10-year college reunion, and it was a total blast. It was nice to get away for the weekend and have a mini-vacation, with no computers or anything like that. And being in Santa Barbara didn’t hurt either. The weather was gorgeous, meeting all his college friends was really, really great, and also– I’m not sure why I loved this so much–but I just loved going out to breakfast with my husband! It felt like such a treat, because I guess when I actually think about it, we hardly ever go out to breakfast. We went to IHOP, (totally awesome), and I discovered that I love their coffee. I’m not a regular coffee drinker at all, and I know that it’s totally weird, but there’s something about the atmosphere of a Denny’s, or an IHOP that makes me want to order a cup of decaf in those great, old, thick stoneware mugs. You know what I’m talking about? Like one of these:

There’s something about getting an endless supply of coffee in one of these mugs. With cream and sugar of course. :) (I told my dad about my weird little coffee realization and he knew exactly what I meant! It must be genetic, because he loves coffee like that as well.)

But back to Santa Barbara. Of course, I had my camera with me and I snapped a total of four pictures. I meant to get more, but oh well. Here was our view as we laid in the shade by the ocean…

And here is the best shot I took of us. Seriously. Pathetic, I know. All I managed was the back of my husband’s head. But it’s a good head! Full of awesome-ly curly hair.

The reunion was a lot of fun. Being “The Wife” was an interesting position, because the reunion wasn’t for me, and people aren’t there to see the spouses, so it was fantastically without pressure! I could sit, stand, mingle, or remove myself whenever I felt necessary while my husband chatted away with old friends. Or eat as many mini-lemon cakes as I wanted. Hey! It’s vacation, right?! But I actually did talk to a ton of people, who were all really genuine and nice and lovely. You see, I met my husband a few years after he went through college, and so this part of his life I only knew from his stories. So actually getting to meet all these people and put faces to stories was so great. He has some great friends, and part of me wishes I’d gone to the same college he did! We even ran into his old track coach, (who gave me a bear hug), and who talked with us for over an hour in the parking lot, sharing the upcoming events that were going to be happening and welcoming us to his home anytime. So I told him to not be surprised when he finds us in his jacuzzi next weekend. 😉

So as we drove home late Saturday night after his reunion, we both felt full and happy and tired from all we did in a day and a half. And we resolved to get away more. Even if it’s just for a night, just to go somewhere and be away for a day; we need those quick little breathers that rejuvenate us for a little bit. Thank you, Lord.

(Case-in-point: we were sitting on a bench in this park that is right on the shoreline, and the sun was beaming down on us, and I love nothing more than warm sunshine–seriously, I am solar-powered–and I just exclaimed to my husband multiple times: I am so happy!! Who knew that all it took was some decaf coffee from IHOP and a sunny bench by the beach? :)) Here are our sunshiney legs:

But now it’s back to work! And back to working on this great invitation suite that I’m working on for a dear family friend who is getting married next July. She’s like my second older sister, because her younger sister and I have been best friends since preschool, so we’ve all known each other for a long time. The “Save the Dates” are getting printed and sent out this week, so I’ll be sure to share them when they’re all done!

Here is a quick bit of inspiration from the weekend: we got to see the new art building at my husband’s college, and it’s phenomenal. It has an outdoor sculpting area with air hoses hanging from the ceiling over each workstation, louvered glass doors that fully open up each classroom to the outside, and it’s got an awesome Design Studio. Check it out:

And the back wall, complete with huge tack boards where you can stick your projects up:

It makes me want to go back to school an sit in one of those awesome chairs that are so high that your feet dangle down like a little kid’s.

But for now, I’m just glad I got to see it. You art students are lucky! :)

Have a great Monday!

Howdy! And happy Friday to you! This post got delayed this morning due to a freak thunderstorm and power-outage. (I’m not making this up.)

But right before the power went out, I discovered the “specials” section over at Myfonts.com. Now, I’m not sure how I haven’t seen this before, but I’m pretty convinced that it’s a good thing I just found it because this section could be T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Just look at all the sweet fonts I found! And the best part is that they’re on sale! (Let’s just say that right now my shopping cart is filling up veeerrrry quickly!) Here are some of the great fonts that caught my eye:

Aren’t they beautiful?! I want all of them. :) You can click on each font and it will take you right to the page where you can buy it. I’d love to know which ones are YOUR favorite!

On a similar note: right now I’m working on a wedding invitation suite and I’m looking for a great new script font that fits these invites perfectly. Here’s a sneak peek at the design theme:

I’m so excited to see this design unfold and see the whole suite put together. It’s going to be bold and unique and full of color. I’ll be sure to share them with you when they’re all done!

Have a wonderful Friday and don’t let any freak thunderstorms get you down! :)