November 29, 2007

Gocco Holiday

Well, I finally came up with a design and printed cards for our pink penny clients. I really wanted to create a card that kept with our branding and was holiday, but also representative of us.

Inspired by our home page, I used the design element in our logo to create a snowflake. I started with some really elaborate snowflake patterns, but it was getting to complicated so in the end I decided simple was better. I think people will get it - yes?

Here's my original Photoshop design:

Then, in order to print with the Gocco in two different colors I had to create "plates" from which to create my light pink and dark pink screens.

I did this by separating the layers into two different files, converting to gray scale and using Levels to get good contrast. I don't have a laser printer so I printed these out and made photocopies to use with the Gocco.

This was my second time using the Gocco and here are a few things I learned:

- Full bleeds (as the dots are designed) are pretty hard to do, at least with my PG-11. These cards were a bit bigger than my Gocco print surface so when I tried to make a screen of the dots it did not expose correctly near one edge.
Solution: Print the dots on the cards first with my ink jet printer, then Gocco over that. Not ideal, but it was the best thing I could think of without sacrificing my design.

- Trying to print anything close to the edge is not a good idea unless your card is very small. I had the same problem with the snowflakes - the small ones up top didn't burn perfectly on my Gocco screen so the print kind of fades up there.
Solution: Use cards that fit on the print surface well so there is even pressure when you expose your screen. Or create a design that fits well within the "safe" area to create a clean screen to print from.

So Gocco is just fun, I've decided. Since I have two businesses (pink penny and rayaphotography) my project this week is to design one for my photography business and print those. I am so excited about my client gifts: it is probably my favorite part about owning a business and this year I got on top of it early. To personalize it more with a hand made card pretty much makes me giddy. Paper, ink, packaging - these are the things that excite me ; )

November 21, 2007

Tori Higa

I've been so excited to share these beautiful invitations Tori did for us. I met Tori through Flickr when she happened upon my photos of Abbot Kinney in LA and through that I discovered her wonderful line of stationery.

Definitely check out her site - My current favorites are her Vintage Map Travel cards and of course this...

We are having a co-ed shower with our friends here in town and thought it would be fun to include both of us on the invitation. Tori's drawings are so modern, simple and fun - and doesn't it look like us?

Anyway, this was such a delight to receive in the mail and a fun way to start off the celebration of this little baby about to be.

We are about to leave for Thanksgiving - we have about a 6 hour drive to join Forest's family up at the cabin so I need to get off the computer and get packing, but just wanted to share these with you before I left. Happy Thanksgiving to all and be back next week : )

November 19, 2007

First Gocco Print Run

I think it was a success. After watching a super cool instructional video from what I'm guessing was the early 80's and reading my instructions over a few times, it actually was pretty easy. I was just doing something simple, but the whole process from making my master to printing was about 30 minutes.

With the amount of ink I put on my screen I probably could have made 100 prints, but I stopped at 25 because I really don't know what I'll do with these. They are on postcard sized cards - maybe just write notes on them or give them away. In the future I'll have to figure out how to use less ink, or save the leftover for future use. One person on flickr bought small glass jars to store unused ink in, which seems like a smart idea. I know you can also save the screens, but cleaning it seemed I tossed it. I can always make a new one if I want.

So here it is - this is the chair I photographed in Yosemite. I made a path in Photoshop to extract it, then adjusted Levels and Curves to make it high contrast. Because I don't have a laser printer at home I made a few copies at Kinko's to make my master from.

I'm pretty excited to do my holiday cards now. I want to try doing more than one color using multiple screens. I'll let you know what I come up with : )

More photos of the process on flickr!

November 18, 2007

Baby Bassinet

Rumor has it my mother-in-law found this Pottery Barn bassinet used for $75 (normally $369!). We've been trying to purchase as many used items as we can for the baby (to cut down on spending and consumption). I'll admit I am REALLY picky about baby stuff and how it looks, etc..and any affordable bassinets I've found are usually covered in frilly lace or are just...not acceptable for my decor and tastes.

This is pretty clean and simple. Yes, it's pink, but my sister-in-law will use it for her new baby girl until we have our boy, then we'll recover the pads in another fabric or order the blue set.

Thanks Teresa!

28 Weeks

Two trimesters to go.

November 17, 2007

Holiday Gocco

My first inspiration for getting a Gocco printing press was to make cards, specifically holiday cards for my clients (and maybe friends too if all goes well).

I've been racking my brain for an awesome idea, but haven't come up with something brilliant yet. Nevermind that I haven't even opened my Gocco to see if I can actually do it. That would probably be the first logical step to take : )

Anyway, I jumped on flickr today to see what others are doing and are a few of my favorites:

Things are better with a Parrot especially caught my eye (a few of these are hers). She has an Etsy shop and all her Gocco prints are lovely. Makes me think I should just order from her instead of trying to make my own. We'll see how it goes first...

November 13, 2007

Let the Gocco Fun Begin

I have all my supplies, now I just have to try it.

Corkboard DIY via Design Sponge

Check out this fun project Grace posted today:

I love corkboards and have only ever thought to put a pretty frame around the cork, but this is so much cooler and would make a lovely gift for a friend. Plus, it helps that I have left over cork from our office wall still.

November 10, 2007

New Couch & Computer Dorks

It's 9:45 PM on a Saturday: And what are my husband and I doing? Dorking out on our computers...

Working on translating ShowIT Effects & Borders into French...if that makes no sense to you check out those two pieces of awesome software here. They are great for professional and just-for-fun photographers.

Updating our baby registries

Researching Combi International strollers and car seats. I think we may have found the ideal infant car seat/lightweight compact stroller combination. After spending 30 minutes at Babies R' Us tonight pretend strolling around the store, I am thrilled.

Looking at designsponge and realizing I've hit a wall and need to get re-inspired. Took another look at Grace's sofa guide - we've been thinking about the Crate & Barrel Petrie, but I've been indecisive about the color. But then every time I see it in Cocoa I say, ooh that's pretty. I have the actual sample and it seems darker than it looks on the web, but maybe it won't be that way once it's covering an entire couch.

Anyway, it is pretty isn't it. And it's reasonably priced for a sofa it's size. This seems like a color that will be pretty dog/baby resistant as well. Which is of course now my concern about everything - how times have changed.

November 8, 2007

Sweet Lips

Our new little niece and her pretty heart shaped lips.

We attended our first birth class last night. It is taught at the birth center where we're having the baby and is pretty small - just three other couples. This class was a lot of introductions and basic info, but I liked it. At the end of each class we watch a birth on DVD. I haven't seen a birth since I was 11, and I remember more of the excitement & jumping when my sister Sarah was actually born, not so much the contractions & pushing & bodily fluids.

The one we watched last night did not freak me out as much as I thought it would - although they do edit 2 hours down to like 5 minutes so it seems like all this girl has to do is push a couple times and voila, baby. All the pushing is the thing that I have the most anxiety about - not the pain, but just the actual pushing that 8 lb. thing out of me.

And how frustrating is it that every time you push the baby comes out a little, but then goes back in again? I know it's for a reason - if it came out all at once super quick - ouch and...stitches please. But that seems like the most frustrating part to me. Actually, I give the girl the most props for having her mom, her mother-in-law and her step-mom all present at the birth. Wow, that is bravery.

I wonder which one we'll watch next week. Our instructor said there is one where the girl yells and screams a lot. That will be fun to watch!

November 6, 2007

Valerie and Gabe

I met this sweet couple at Jessica & Jason's wedding in August. Valerie was a bridesmaid and is also getting married in May of '08. I'm so excited to now shoot her wedding and reunite with Jessica and some other girls from the wedding - it will be a fun day I'm sure.

I met up with Valerie and Gabe in Malibu to do some engagement photos - just in time, as all the fires erupted the next day and closed the Pacific Coast Highway.

We traipsed all over Point Dume, and the couple even hiked to the top of the cliff for me - which was nice considering exercise was probably not in their plan when they got dressed. But they were totally up for it and we got some beautiful shots with the setting sun and ocean in the background.

Here's a slide show of my favorites or you can click through the gallery one by one. Thanks Valerie & Gabe - looking forward to seeing you again in May!

November 5, 2007

Emily and Brian's Wedding

(Click on any image to see it larger)

I'm so happy to finally show these off! Emily & Brian's wedding was amazing and they both looked gorgeous, as usual. After a few days of heavy rain Saturday October 13th was a beautiful day up on the hill in Corralitos at Emily's parent's. I think just about every friend they have was there to help with set up, catering, planning, organizing, flowers, etc..It was a real team effort and it's obvious how much these two are loved.

Faith made her photography debut with me as my assistant/second shooter. She did awesome and it was so fun to have a friend to collaborate with all day - and shake it with on the dance floor later.

Brian & Emily - I love you two so much! Congratulations : )

To see more click here to watch the slide show.

November 2, 2007

The Nordin Family

My first photo shoot during my visit to Santa Cruz was with one of my favorite families in the whole world - the Nordins. My conversations with Meg are responsible for many many cell phone minutes and overcharges. Somehow we always end up talking for over an hour no matter what - and the boys are just precious, all of them. Yes, you too Dan! You're precious : )

Here's a slide show of my favorites from our day at Roaring Camp in Felton, CA or you can just click through the gallery one by one.