Friday, October 16, 2009

Update on the Passport Invitations...and a New Printer!!

The custom order I was working for 100 passport-styled invitations has been completed and delivered to the client today, five days ahead of schedule. I am relieved and very, very satisfied that the way this project turned out. (To read the background story, click here.)

I ran into several minor problems with this order, most of which were printer-related issues. First I ran out of ink. Then the replacement ink I ordered (remanufactured to cut costs) did a miserable job of printing. The print and the graphics were fuzzy and not at all sharp. (Never again!!) Had to return the ink and re-order manufacturers' original ink at double the price. Printing was better but still not great, not because of the ink but because the printer itself is not well suited to graphics printing. I had been see-sawing for years about buying a new printer, feeling guilty about buying a new printer when I had one that worked well but just didn't give crisp graphic images. This time I bit the bullet and ordered a new HP Photosmart Printer. With the exception of my current printer, I have always used HP printers both at home and at work. The print quality is excellent and the machines are workhorses. My current Dell (boo...hiss...) printer was given to me and a free printer trumped one I had to pay for (or so I thought). My experience has me running back to the hardware I have come to trust for crisp, sharp printing. It should arrive sometime next week and I can't wait to put it through its paces. Future client orders will look awesome. So bring 'em on. I'm ready!

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Monday, October 12, 2009

Little Angel

(Click on picture to view a larger image)

My daughter needed a card for a gift she was bringing to a baby shower. Naturally she casually mentions this on the evening before the event. Of course, I think to myself, I can whip up a quick little card. But as soon as I sat down to create I found myself taking out all manner of embellishments and brass stencils, cardstock and what have you. After fiddling for nearly an hour I realized I was overthinking the whole thing and decided to go for a very simple look. I used a stamp that I had never used before and, in fact, had been put in the pile of ophaned stamps I have in my workshop. It turned out to be the perfect choice for this quickie card.

The yellow base card was stamped all over with VersaMark watermark and Dazzle Inks (Frost and Champagne) then selectively dusted with green and gold PearlEx pigment powders. The image was stamped in black Stazon ink, colored with Prismacolor coloring pencils, matted on olive green cardstock. The stars and heart were gone over with a clear sparkly Gelly Roll pen for a bit of shimmer. It was attached to the base card with foam tape for a little dimension. Tiny green rhinestones were added to the corners of the image for a touch of glitz and a finishing touch. The inside of the card had a hand written greeting that said "Your Angel is on its Way".

Simple. Easy-peasy. Why didn't I think of that in the first place?

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Passport Invitation

(Note: Click on a photo to see a larger image.)

It seems as if my life is being carried in a small boat along a fast moving stream. So much has happened in the last month that I have not had time to post on my blogs or participate in any of the challenges hosted by the online groups to which I belong. Fortunately my little boat is not sailing without a rudder so I can keep myself from capsizing into the rapids.

One of the big events for me was being contracted by a returning client to produce invitations for her annual client event. Her invitations are always tied into the theme of the event and are intended to set the mood from its receipt. This year's theme is adventure so I came up with the concept of creating a passport document to act as the invitation. A specific color palette was requested and you can see two of those colors in the photo above. Although the concept was easy enough, designing it proved to be somewhat more challenging than I expected but after two weeks of brainstorming I prevailed.

When I presented the prototypes to my client and her assistant, they were completely bowled over. They particularly liked the small details I used to convey the idea of adventure and travel throughout the document. In years past the order was for 50 invites. This year's order was doubled! This presented a double challenge for me; 1) I now had to produce twice as many cards, a substantial task when you consider they are all made completely by hand and 2) I had to do it in less time than I had in the past because the process began later this year. Regardless, I am up to the challenge and am enjoying it immensely.

To see additional photos of this card, click here to go to my Photobucket album where you'll find photos of my other cards as well.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva