2 weeks…

It’s been 2 whole weeks since he’s been deployed.  He’s my little brother in age, but in size he’s a whole foot taller than me. We grew up pretty close, minus a few of the teenage years when we fought like cats & dogs.  But nevertheless, we’ve always had a special relationship.  He’s one of my best friends and I miss him so much.

His girlfriend, Meg, took this picture of him right as he was leaving.  Even though it was on a day with mixed emotions, the picture always makes me smile. He has a tough job as an officer in the Marines, but he’s doing what he loves and that makes me proud.

Come home to us soon!  We love you!  OOOOORAH!!!



Unless you are a super nerdy designer, these initials probably mean something a little different to you…. In the world of graphic design, these initials stand for Pantone Matching System.  Pantone allows designers to color match specific hues.  Every year, Pantone announces their color of the year.  It’s really cool to see how the trend goes from advertising to fashion and other applications.  I was really excited to read on Sew4Home‘s blog this morning that the 2011 color of the year is honeysuckle!  They had a great collage of the different fabrics in this color.  SO fun!

A few weeks ago I ran across this amazingness on the Somance Design. It’s intended for color matching, but I think it would be amazing in a quilt!

Until then, I’ll just play with my swatches from Voler that I use for bike jerseys.

I’ll say this much, one thing I love almost as much as typography and texture is Pantone color swatches….  even on fabric!  Here’s to the year of the honeysuckle!


I came across this quote in the most recent issue of Where Women Create and fell in love with it. If you haven’t ever seen this magazine, go check it out!  It’s great inspiration to get the creative juices flowing and it’s also very intriguing with the stories that they share of these women artists, such as Amy Butler, about how and where they got started.

Over the last few weeks, this quote has really gotten me to thinking about what I want to accomplish creatively this year and new ventures I want to take as an artist and creative.  I have a long list and I hope to be sharing my processes with you over the next year more than I have in the previous.  It is my goal this year to put pencil to paper more, figuratively speaking of course, and share things that inspire me, projects I’ve competed, and hopefully share some common loves along the way.  I feel that I have grown a lot in the last year and can’t wait for the “finding” and the “losing” of my self within these next twelve months.

Happy creating!

if you sing a song, i’ll quilt along…

Sorry, Dave (Matthews).  Not to butcher  your song or anything.  : )

Today I have fabric arriving to get started on Craig’s quilt! I searched forever for a masculine set of prints that wasn’t camo, fishing, nascar, you name it.  I ended up selecting a few prints from Moda’s Park Avenue Silky Cotton Collection by 3 Sisters.  I purchased these three prints for now and I’ll trying to decide what to add to it.

Once I found the red plaid print, I knew I potentially struck gold. I want some deep, neutral tones, but also have some pop of color.  I’m wanting to use some scraps I have in greens and mustard colors.  I think it will compliment the ones I purchased and make the plaids stand out more.  Once I gather the rest of my fabrics, I’m going to be doing the Hexagon Quilt-a-Long with JayBird Quilts.  Her instructions are great and the photos easily show you what and how to do it.  I have started a quilt for play, so this is really my “first”.

Now go check out JayBird Quilts and see all of her fun projects or join the Hexagon Quilt-a-Long, too!  She’s got great colors, patterns, ideas and how-to’s

getting ready for fall…

The weather here is perfect after several, several hot days.  It’s drizzly, rainy and isn’t supposed to be warmer than 75.  I’ve been craving doing some fall projects, but when it’s still so hot outside, it’s really hard to think pumpkins, leaves, and beautiful autumn colors.  Here are some of the projects I’m going to be working on in the next week or so.

1.  Fabric pumpkin tutorial from V & Co. >>  http://www.vanessachristenson.com/2009/10/tutorial-garden-fresh-fabric-tomatoes.html
She also has instructions for tomatoes!  It’s great because it doesn’t matter your style of fabric, as long as it is fall colors it will go with your style and look great!

2.  Fall bunting.  I think I want to do black & white prints for Halloween and put “trick or treat” on mine.
On Etsy from SparklePower >> http://www.etsy.com/listing/52050499/colorful-scalloped-party-garland

3.  And since it’s getting cooler outside, I really want to tackle painting my house.  I’ll be making some trips to Sherwin-Williams and Home Depot to get samples soon!  Did you know that Sherwin-Williams has great tools online to help you select your colors?  >>  http://www.sherwin-williams.com/do_it_yourself/paint_colors/paint_color_palette/visualizer/
I’ll probably be using that, as well as, photoshop to determine the hue winner. Does anyone else take Pantone swatch books into the paint store?

4.  New garden flag for out front.  I like how Tatortos and Jello’s guest blogger, Random Thoughts of a Super Mom, did theirs and used burlap – which comes in a great orange color and it so cheap!
tutorial here >>  http://tatertotsandjello.blogspot.com/2010/04/guest-project-monogrammed-burlap-garden.html

That’s probably more than I’ll get done, but I’ll tell you one thing I HAVE to do every year….  homemade roasted pumpkin seeds with chili lime seasoning…  : )

Charli Rae

how to make patterned letters

Ashley asked me awhile back how to make pattered letters in Photoshop.  You can also do it in Illustrator, it’s a little different, but if you are interested, I can do that one, too.  I’m using CS4 for Mac.

1.  So you can do one of two things to get started.

a.) Open up a file that you have already – or – b.) Start a new file with the exact file size you need, then add your pattern in. – I’m going with the second option.

So, I’m going to go to  file>new.  You’ll get a pop-up window that looks like this:

Now there are a couple of important things to know here.  If you are doing something for your blog or online, you’ll want to make sure that your width and height are in pixels and that your resolution is 72.  If you are doing it for print (like invitations, etc.), make sure that your width and height are in inches and the resolution is 300.  I’m going to say mine is for print, so my window looks like this:

I made my art palette 8″ x 5″ at 300 DPI (resolution) and changed the background contents to transparent.

2.  So now my palette is the size I need it to be. Now here I added my background by opening a file I had and dragging the layer over into the palette I’m working in.  Again, you can open your file you want to work with directly open, but I wanted to keep it the same so I can use it over and over again.  It’s totally your preference.)

I have my background of old graph paper and I’m ready.

This is what my layer palette looks like.  Notice I have a background that is transparent and then a layer for my graph paper.

3.  Next we are going to type on top of the graph paper.  I always do it on top so that I can see everything I’m doing. You can do it on a layer behind, but this is better I think.  On your tools palette, select your text tool.

I select the font and size that I want, the type the text I want to add a pattern to.  I’m going to use “create”.

After I hit enter, my art palette will look like this: (It doesn’t matter what color you use for your type because it won’t effect the end result.  Just use a color that helps you see what you are doing.)

4.  After I have my type like I want it, I’m going to go back to the layer palette.  I am going make sure I have “create” selected, then in the box with the eye, I’m going to do an “apple + click the mouse”.  (I can’t remember the windows equivalent for this).  What this is going to do is make a selection around the type.

Your art palette will then look like this:

5.  This step is pretty important for it to turn out properly.  While keeping the selection around the type, I’m going to select the graph paper layer on my layer palette.  All you’ll have to do is click on the other layer once.  What this does essentially is going to allow the selection to be transferred to the graph paper so that anything done from this point on isn’t applied to the word create.

6. I’ll now go to my Photoshop menu about and click select>inverse.

Your art palette will now look like this:

You can now see that the selection has been altered to where it goes around the word create and is now longer selecting the word create.

7.  Now for the magic, hit the delete button.  The background will now disappear and all you will be left with is create.

To view only the graph paper in “create form”, deselect the eye icon next on the layer named “create” on the layer palette.

And this is what you are left with!

To help illustrate better what the final product looks like, I threw in a background behind it.

From here, always save your file.  I suggest saving the .psd (Photoshop) file, then saving a .jpg file in case you ever need to go back and make alterations at a later date.

Here is our final file!

Now, go create!

sweating to the oldies…

All my life I’ve been pretty athletic, but never really skinny (except ages birth-8 years).  I have some genetics working against me, which doesn’t always seem fair.  However, knowing what other family members have gone through with these genes gives me a better understanding about what I need to be doing now.  Diabetes is a big one that I’m trying to avoid.  I’ve been hypoglycemic for the last 10 years and have kept my blood sugar levels in the safe zone.  I’ve learned how to manage it and what foods I can alter to still be able to enjoy a little of everything.

When I met my husband, he was about 80 pounds heavier.  Yes, that is an 8 & 0.  It always seems not cool how fast guys can loose weight.  I mean seriously, we can do the exact same things – same workout, same food, etc.  – he can loose twice as much as me.  Somehow over the last 6 years, the tables have turned.  He lost 80.  I gained….  well, a lot.  Probably about 50.  No matter what I do and how hard I try, I keep gaining.  After an unfortunate accident last year and knee surgery, it made it even more difficult to exercise.

30 is coming around the corner and I don’t want to keep gaining because as I get closer to that new coming of age, it’s harder to get the weight off.  It’s so uncomfortable and so irritating trying to find clothes.  For the past two weeks I’ve been working extra hard and lost 5 pounds and 1/2 inch off my waist.  Lots of walking, Wii fit, and other exercises that I can do at home.  I feel that I need another boost, so Craig and I talked it over and we joined Weight Watchers.

So here’s to the new journey!  I’m really excited about it!  So many changes have happened in my life since April and I’m working on re-inventing myself and becoming better than ever.  ¡Salude!

Charli Rae

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