Monday, September 18, 2017

The Big E!!!

It's finally here - on Friday the Big E began!  (I've mentioned it before, but just as a reminder, The Big E is a huge New England fair.  It's basically a state fair with rides, food, games, vendors, and animals - only for SIX states.)  My neighbor David, and his wife Jackie, had been going in everyday to put their booth together and they did a great job.  Here's David and me right before the doors opened.


It's a very bright and peppy booth.  Lots of people have been coming by to see what The YOUniverse is all about.  (Below) Jackie and David talk to some interested people.


The Big E is from 10am - 10pm Monday thru Sunday for 16 days.  I worked the first day to give them pointers.  They are both therapists, so the people they work with are already looking for help.  It's a different vibe at a fair.  People are curious but they need to be invited into the booth, invited to touch the product.  Usually I'd get them in and start things off and then pass it off to the therapists to go over the nitty gritty.  Jackie and David are troupers and are learning as they go.  By the end of it, they'll be pros.

I've had a great time helping David with the wall design, logos, T-shirts, brochures, animation, and signs.  If you'd like to learn more about The YOUniverse, you can find its webpage here.

Now I have to run and take some artwork to a restaurant.
Have a great day and thanks so much for stopping in!


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Bunnies & Berries - Designing A Fabric

Some of you may know that I've recently gotten into fabric design.  It started in the Spring when I posted a pick of a watercolor I did featuring a bee and some green sprigs.  Someone said, "That would make a nice fabric." And I thought, You know what? It would!  So I created a repeating pattern and put it up on Spoonflower.  Only the thing was, it was extremely challenging to create a repeating pattern.  And I definitely did it the back door, stumble-towards-success way. Meaning, there was a better way to do it but I didn't know how.

Well, I recently learned how!  I took an online class called How to Create a Half Drop Repeat Pattern Using Smart Objects by Mel Armstrong on Skillshare.  (In case you want to learn too.) It's a great course if you have Photoshop and want to get into fabric design.

I wanted to create a fabric that would go with my other fabrics this season - the colors being black, white, and red. I decided to paint some grey bunnies, leaves, and red berries. I paint each piece separately. Here are a couple of the bunnies.


Then I scanned everything into Photoshop, cleaned the images, and created a square tile pattern, like this.


I repeated the pattern (like laying tiles on a floor) meeting each edge with another edge, until I filled the screen.  This is what my Photoshop screen looked like.


When I was happy with it, I was able to create a rectangle that would cut everything at a repeatable place. See how one bunny is decapitated at the top, but it's head and back pick up at the bottom?


This fabric is called Bunnies & Berries.  It will be available on the Spoonflower website soon.  And soon I will have an actual yard of printed cotton to make into a new batch of pillows.  Yee!

Thanks so much for stopping in!
Have a great week!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Big E Challenges

Hello people!  As per usual, I will start off with an apology of not blogging more regularly.  I'm just not as into it as I used to be.  But I will still strive for once a week.

Lately I have been busy with a different kind of project.  I am designing gobs of things for my friend's Big E booth.

What's The Big E? you ask.  The Big E is a huge multi-state fair here in New England.  There are rides and games and booths and art stuff and big houses dedicated to the goods of all the New England States (ex. Go to The Maine House and you can get lobster rolls.)  And there are a ton of vendors.  The fair last about 2 weeks, I think, and thousands upon thousands of people come through.  It's very popular.

My friend David Cantor is a family therapist and he designed a therapy tool called The YOUniverse a few years back.  This is what it looks like.


He's been trying to get into the Big E for awhile now, but this year his proposal was finally accepted. Without much more than a few months notice, he needed to order a ton of his products, put together a booth design, and all that goes with it: brochures, rack cards, bags, receipts, nitty gritty.

I have been helping him with all that.

The first thing - which was kind of a big deal for me - was designing his walls.


This is one of two walls.  The other is an extension of this one, not a repeat.  But it was windy out and we didn't want them to fall and get dirty, so we just erected this one.

I can tell you guys - I was pretty nervous when we went to pick them up.  I have never designed anything for this size, or to be printed on this kind if fabric.  We didn't know if the colors would be darker or washed out, or what.  (And they were not cheap.) But the worry was for nothing - the walls came out great!  The colors are right on the money, and the lines are crisp.  It's a simple design, but a lot of decisions go into a simple design, so it was a lot of work all the same.

Then, David wanted a short animated movie for the booth.  I only know how to do stop-motion, so I've been spending the last three weeks working up a storyboard, making pieces, and then creating the movie.


This photo gives you a peek of the set up in my basement.  I have the background paper, the moveable pieces of paper, the camera, three light sources, the computer, all the other pieces in files to stay organized, and lots of duct tape.

Stop motion is a long process.  It would be best to do in a couple hours a day, but I didn't want to keep that set-up in the basement all week, so I shot it in a day.  7:30 - 4:00.  With a 30 minute lunch and a couple breaks.  The end result is 3 minutes and 10 seconds long.

Want to see it?  Here it is.


(In case you're wondering, the music is called "Cute" and it was purchased by a site called BenSound, which sells copyright free music for use in videos such as this.  We got very lucky in that we found the perfect clip and it was basically the same length as the movie.)

There's still more to do.  I'm designing a brochure next. And then rack cards.  I'm learning a lot of Photoshop along the way and definitely challenging myself.  Once the booth is up at the Big E, I'll take more pics.

Thanks again for stopping in.  It it much appreciated!
Have a great week!

Best,
Julie