Day 292: Hands


I think this has been one of my favorite projects so far. I love the results and think it’s funny that it is sort of like a grown up hand turkey.

Here’s how I made this:

  • Used a medium sharpie to trace my hand multiple times onto a white piece of paper. Then I scanned in the image.
  • Opened the jpeg image in Inkscape, a free piece of software that is somewhat similar to Illustrator.
  • Traced the image by going to Path > Trace Bitmap. I used the brightness threshold set to the default.
  • Then I deleted the original jpeg. To do this, you can just move over the traced outlines image and delete what’s underneath.
  • Created three  layers by going to “View” in the top menu and selecting “Layers”. Then I hit the plus button and made three  layers.
  • Moved the outlines onto the middle layer. You can just cut and paste to do this.
  • Created the background by tearing up pieces of newspaper and taping them back onto a 8.5″ by 11″ piece of paper. Then I scanned in the newspaper collage.
  • Opened the newspaper collage image in Inkscape, copied it, and pasted it as the bottom layer under the outlines.
  • Finally, I used the paint bucket to fill in different areas with color on the top layer. I had the paint opacity set to around 50% for the color, which you set in the “Fill and Stroke” menu.
  • You won’t be able to fill in some of the areas with color because they won’t be “bounded,” but others should work. This project is easy enough that it’s worth it to go with the flow. It will look good no matter what.

And that’s it. If you make one of these, let me know! I’d love to see how it turned out!

Day 256: Quote

Art LoveAs I mentioned in my very first post back on January 1, I have zero practice doing hand lettering, so last night I did a little bit using a random quote on the internet. It looks cute, but the next time I do something like this, I think I’ll try to do something a bit fancier.

For inspiration, next time I should probably refer to The Art of Hand Lettering, an amazing blog chronicling one artists adventures in making letters.

Day 242: Waves


Last Wednesday, I took Jim out for a super secret date to the top of the Hancock building and then to Frontera Grill for dinner (it was super fun). Because I was meeting Jim downtown around 6, I stayed at work and did some pen tool practice on Illustrator, which you see here. It was the perfect way to get my project done early so I could really enjoy the evening.

Day 214: Mountain Range


On Wednesday, I made some more mountains. I guess I’ve got mountains on my mind because Jim and I are headed to Yosemite in two weeks to do some serious hiking. I’m super excited and also a little scared because on the first day we’re hiking up the Snow Creek Falls trail, which involves hiking up 2600 feet in 1.7 miles. That basically means we’re scaling two Sears Towers. Eek!

Day 204: Patagonia


Jim and I are currently in the process of planning a big trip to Patagonia and Buenos Aires. I think the plan is to fly down to El Calafate and make our way to Los Glaciares National Park to see the Perito Moreno Glacier. Then it’s off the El Chaltén, which will be our base for hiking and hopefully getting a glimpse Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy. During this part of the trip, we’ll basically be at the end of the Earth tramping through wild and beautiful landscapes. I’m both nervous and excited thinking about it.

After Patagonia, we’ll be flying back to Buenos Aires for a few nights, where we plan on touring the city and going dancing at a Tango club. We’re going to take eight weeks of lessons before we leave. With the experience we have with swing dancing, I’m hoping we’ll at least be good enough to dance a few songs.

I can’t wait for our trip!


Day 198: Rooms

Room 1

Room 2

Room 3

Back Cover

I have to admit something—I’m obsessed with vintage decorating books. Sometimes it’s because the decorating is hideously ugly and sometimes it’s because I love the colors and style of the vintage rooms.

Several months ago, I was fortunate enough to have found a copy of the book Creative Decorating on a Budget from Better Homes and Gardens, a great book from 1970. Flipping through the pages is an amazing experience that keeps me guessing. Why does that wallpaper match that couch? Why is there zebra print on everything? In some cases, the decorating also makes me happy. Several of the rooms look beautiful and use simple style and bold colors to make a statement.

On Sunday and Monday, I spent a lot of time scanning all of the pages of this book onto my computer and then, for a little fun, on Monday I loaded some of the pictures into Inkscape and played around.  The result is the top three colorful pieces.