There are people out there who have a wonderful minimalistic approach to storage. Go to my mother’s house, for example, open up any closet, and you’ll see a sparse, neat, and effective organization system. I so admire that dedication to simplicity! In my own home, however, closed doors and drawers hold a little bit too much temptation. I cram it all in! This weekend, though, I resolved to go through (some of) the clutter.
I have one particular drawer — and I’m sure you have one, too — that holds things that I don’t use, but I also can’t quite get rid of. I did end up tossing some scraps from there, but mostly I found things that I want to talk about as a sort of virtual show and tell! Most of this stuff has never appeared on the blog before, and it’s just fun to talk about. I benefit because I get to ramble at you about projects I had fun making, and I hope that you benefit by coming up with project ideas! So, without further ado, here are the ten stars of my “like it too much to get rid of it but don’t need it” drawer:
1. BabyQ Invitation (2013)
I’ve written about this invitation before in the 10 Items That I Successfully Sold on Etsy post. The reason that I have trouble getting rid of it is it’s the very first invitation I ever designed. I bought Photoshop to make it, and I felt immediately discouraged by how very difficult the program was to understand! This invitation actually brought me to tears a couple of times because I just couldn’t get Photoshop to do what I wanted it to. Now, I look at this piece, and I feel grateful that it jumpstarted the happy relationship that I have with Photoshop today!
2. Foil Stamped Save the Date (2013)
Early in my career, I was lucky in that a wedding planner in Georgia recommended me to several of her clients. The very first official wedding project that I ever made was this foil stamped save the date invitation! I see this and still wonder how on earth the people at Boxcar Press had so much patience with me. It takes a lot to prepare a file for foil stamping, and I was extremely green about that at the time! (Still: that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. YouTube tutorials and good advice can help you to accomplish just about anything!)
3. Watercolor Calligraphy (2013)
When I discovered Molly Suber Thorpe’s Modern Calligraphy in 2013, I was immediately inspired to try out her suggestion to use watercolors as calligraphy “ink”. This was the very first piece I made using that technique! These days, I’ve refined my watercolor calligraphy significantly, but this bright little piece still makes me happy to look at.
4. Die Cut Place Cards (2014)
This project was the result of another referral from the Georgia wedding planner. I designed an invitation suite and several other materials for this event (including beer koozies!), but these place cards were my favorite because of their uniqueness! I illustrated the client’s family boat for this project, then I worked with the illustration in Adobe Illustrator. As it turns out, die cut — the process of cutting paper into a specific shape — is also a whole big “thing” as far as production goes, but printingforless.com patiently walked me through it, and they did a great job printing these!
5. Calendar Pages (2014)
In 2014, Zakkiya of Inkstruck Studio approached me and asked if I’d like to collaborate on a 2015 calendar with her. I think we started making it in early October of 2014, so we had a time crunch like you would not believe! I made the calligraphy and digitized the designs, and she created the illustrations. It sounds simple enough, but we made the project very complicated by offering four different sizes and orientations of the calendar! It still makes me happy to see these cheerful pages, but if I ever took on a project like this again, I’d try to keep it as simple as possible (offer one size) — and start working on it at least a year in advance!
6. Logo Design (2014)
My version of art is calligraphy, design, and illustration; my brother’s version of art is fence making. He makes absolutely stunning fences in western Kansas, and he made us one in Colorado, too. You’ve probably seen it in photo backgrounds (for example, the first photo of the Garden Drills)! When he first started, he asked me to make him a little logo for his business, Professional Fencing. This is what I drew. Since it’s a rural Kansas-based business, of course I had to incorporate some barbed wire!
7. Calligraphy for Flow Magazine (2015)
This calligraphy was created for an article in Flow Magazine. To this day, I have no idea what it says, but this is the first piece that I was ever hired to create for a publication. This project helped me to discover Flow Magazine (the English version!), which I’ve been grateful for ever since … I’m always excited when I get a new issue.
8. Save the Date Bookmarks (2015)
I think that the idea of a bookmark for a “save the date” is a really neat idea! In 2015, I started offering custom save the date bookmarks through my Etsy shop and the TPK website. I designed several, but these were my two favorites! All of them were designed on Photoshop, and they featured original illustrations.
9. Negative Space Letter (2015)
I made this little just-for-fun piece for Jenny Doh’s More Creative Lettering. It was a fun piece to create because it made me think about all the fun things I like to do with my husband, Hernán (thus the “h”)! I like looking at it because sometimes I forget that we liked cream cheese jalapeño pizza or that we went to see The Hobbit at the theater. I actually don’t think this will be going back in the drawer; I’m going to display it on my wall.
10. Place Card for Brooklyn Workshop (2016)
In 2016, I traveled all over the place to conduct workshops: Portland, Berkeley, Brooklyn, and Tampa! Every place we went to, I made artistic little place cards for participants. Participants always took their place cards home, but someone in Brooklyn forgot hers. I always intended to send this to her, but never did. I’m okay with that because every time I see this, I think about A) how pretty the name “Evelyn” is, and B) how wonderful it is that you can make something so cool out of orange cardstock and printer paper!
So, that’s my little show and tell tour of the workspace drawer. I hope that you enjoyed looking through these things with me — it’s always fun to talk about past projects! What do you have that you can’t quite get rid of? What storage solution(s) have you come up with? I’d love to hear! If you’re willing to post a photo of one of your older pieces on Instagram, you can do so with hashtag #tpkshowandtell. It will be fun for me to see what you’re holding on to, too (and I’d get some reassurance that I’m not the only artistic packrat around)!
Thanks very much for reading, and we’ll reconvene on Friday with a tutorial!