Mama Mocha's

Man, do I wish we had a Mama Mocha's in Gadsden.

Full story here.

Dark Owl Records

Faux logo for Dark Owl Records

Oh man, I am getting caught up too fast on Welcome to Night Vale! At this rate, I will be up to date by the end of the month. Because it airs twice monthly, but I listen to them on walks... which happen 2-3 times a week.

I paused on one of these walks to send myself an email that said "Logo Dark owl records." I'd been thinking "do I want to make another Night Vale graphic? Hmm, what would it be?" And then I thought of an owl with a record for a monocle and YES!

I like how it turned out. I love that the Dark Owl Records Tumblr reblogged it with the tag GPOY.

LWB giftcards

Love Without Boundaries wanted some new gift card designs. We made one for each program and a general one. I put all of them on my Vounteer Work board.

Fangirl fanart

The Simon Snow Series by Gemma T. Leslie

Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl came out last month. I've made a couple of things for her novels, so I felt sure I'd want to make something for this one, too.

First up was book spines for the fictional Simon Snow series. (Cath would have the hardcover editions, but I had to use what I could find via image search, so these are paperbacks.) I swiped and manipulated this image:

As I did for her first two books, I made a fanmix, too. And speaking of swiping things...

Fangirl: A Novel by Rainbow Rowell

One of the characters works at Starbucks, and I happened to have a copy of their old logo in vector format. So I swapped the company name for Fangirl: A Novel and the star for a snowflake (because Cath is such a big Simon Snow fan). I gave her glasses and changed the color scheme to match the book's cover.

Here's a screencap of the best tags on this one so far:

Band tee

The finished product of the band t-shirt I worked on awhile back. My coworker sent me the following image with the note "They like the type and they like the dance people."

I told her the text would be really easy to convert to vector art but that we'd need some dancers. She found some stock imagery to use.

This was the PDF we sent the printer:

Fandom excuses

Alright, I’m sure some of you are like “enough with the Hatter graphics” (ahem, ETW) but he gets me reblogs! Deal with it. I decided to make a "character poster" for Hatter, since he has netted me the most notes on Tumblr.

I really like how this one turned out. And if I didn’t have desire to make homage graphics for little reason, I would have no excuse to use this style. It’s not really something you apply to pictures of your kids and it’s too Photoshoppy for the magazine. Thank you, fandom, for being the perfect milieu for the image-ghosted medium!

As ever, I am All About Words. It’s not done until I find the wording. When Alice meets Ratty, he promises to take her to The Man Who Knows. (Shh, I used the True Blood font, but we don’t have to tell anybody we’re mixing fandoms, right?)

After I made this, my board got another follower. Argh, you guys are killing me. What else could I possibly make? I have tread this territory.

“Well, I haven’t made anything of the King of Hearts…”

But I couldn’t find the screencap I wanted. As I looked, I saw some of Charlie and one glance and I could hear him speaking. Okay, let’s make a Charlie-themed one. (Winston, I will try you again next time.)

I have a lyric collage that I am having little luck with, and while I was font-searching for it, I found one that seemed perfect for a My Mad Fat Diary image I had in mind.

So, new use for fandoms: chances to practice skills and use fonts that I otherwise wouldn't get to. Go, fandom!

Mary Margaret McCord in the summer issue of Style

Putting together the fall issue. The summer issue was the first time I wrote the cover story.

Two weeks before the competition, Mary Margaret opened a fortune cookie to find the message, “You will be recognized and honored as a community leader.”

She taped it to the back of an index card and wrote a quote from Coach Bear Bryant on the other side: “If you believe in yourself, have dedication and pride and never quit, you'll be a winner.”

The card went with her to Montgomery, where she took home the crown.

Read the whole story here.

Quotes into notes

I said I wanted to practice more quote art. (Or whatever one would call it.) Last week, one of my MMFD pals read Eleanor & Park, so I decided I’d do one of my favorite quotes from the book, where Eleanor says of Park “you look like a protagonist … you look like the person who wins in the end.”

Rainbow reblogged it, which made it explode in notes. It became my first non-Hatter related graphic to exceed 100 notes.

(I made a new Hatter graphic to celebrate my first post to surpass 200 notes.)

This month, I started listening to Night Vale. I knew I wanted to make some sort of image for that, but what? I settled upon the passage about the moon.

Welcome to Night Vale is experiencing a popularity explosion, and this post reached 200+ notes in no time. It is now my post with the most notes.

Bridal shower invitation

My pal (and former co-worker) Kendra is a bridesmaid and asked if I could work on a shower invitation. Sure! They found one they liked online and wanted to incorporate the bride's colors and a lace pattern reminiscent of a box the bride gave them. Inspiration sent:

Fandom gifts

A couple of weeks ago, the Duchess of Wonderland reblogged my Duchess/Hatter parallels post for the second time. I sent her a message, asking if she had any graphic requests because nobody has every reblogged one of my creations twice “for feel reasons.”

She couldn’t think of anything. (I would have been equally lost if she asked me to participate on her roleplay blog — seriously, I lack the roleplay gene.) But when my Syfy Alice board gained a new follower, I knew something for the Duchess was in order.

And I’m kind of glad she didn’t have a request, because I was able to just go find some screencaps and see if they “spoke” to me. (Don’t laugh! Or, in the words of her tag #DON’T U JUDGE ME.) I liked one that was a little out of focus because it highlighted that Duchess was in movement. She was trying to save Jack, whose execution had been ordered.

I found a photo of him to overlay and felt it needed something. I tried some patterns. No. Hrm... some text? I went with “you’re running out of time.” Because she is and Time is such a theme in Wonderland tales. (I also went and found actual lines from the mini and posted those below.)

The Duchess found her gift shortly after I posted it, and seemed pretty stoked. That she went to one of her friends to say “look what someone made for me!” put a huge smile on my face.

In a similar vein, I made an image collage for a fanfic recently. I read it one night and thought it was so well done. I didn’t want to just send another message saying how much I liked it. I wanted to put the time in, like she had to share in the first place.

I figured, if you can make an image collage for a novel, why not for a fanfic?

It was to nearly 50 notes by the time she found it. (At 73 now.) I love her tags #*FANS SELF* and #BLINKS RAPIDLY.

So, two creations that are not so much for the shows but the fans themselves. Love a thing, make a thing. And I love the community that is fandom.



These? So much harder than they look.

Ever since I read Melissa Fay Greene's article "How to Bully-Proof Your Child," I wanted to do a quote design of this passage, as it so perfectly encapsulates bullying.

The secret? It's a game. The only rule is: If you get upset, you lose.

[On Tumblr here.]

I've only made a few of these so far. I'd like to do more and (hopefully) get better at it.

Roboters at the GPL

Tamall Calloway at GPL Summer Reading Program

Last week, I told my editors I had some copies of the paper to drop off at the library for Tamall Calloway. (I did the preview story on his visit.) I asked if they wanted me to shoot a photo gallery while I was there.

Man, these guys were great. A few times, I missed a good shot because I got so immersed in watching them perform.

Tamall Calloway at GPL Summer Reading Program Tamall Calloway at GPL Summer Reading Program

Photo gallery at

Tamall Calloway at GPL Summer Reading Program

Calloway said he loves dance for many reasons, but foremost is “seeing how people react when I dance. I find joy in performing and teaching.” (GadsdenTimes)

More cover art

Attachments fanmix cover art

This one is for a fanmix for Rainbow Rowell's Attachments. In the book, the female protagonist is a movie critic (and a pivotal scene takes place in a movie theater). The male protagonist works in IT and one of his jobs is to read flagged emails. The text is an email that he prints and out and saves. And the inclusion of pi references the final chapter of the book.

A quickie for my Penelope fanmix.

And a cheater one for my 80s mix, because you aren't allowed to add a track list on 8tracks.

The microcosm

Sigh. I like the above version much better than the one I posted on Tumblr last week.

After I uploaded it, I was like "I should have made a big diamond in the center. That scene on the ladder is a microcosm of their whole dynamic."

But it's up to 144 notes, so I'm not gonna change it now.

I gave myself a goal that whenever my Syfy Alice board on Pinterest gets a new follower, I would make a new piece of fanart. (I am already three followers behind on this goal.) My inspiration was this HP-themed diamond design. Diamonds! Yes, a playing card suit! Perfect, let's get started.

Screencap of the work-in-progress:

Fanmix cover art

Eleanor & Park

I decided to make some "cover art" for my Eleanor & Park fanmix. (I was elated when the author reblogged this on Tumblr. I'm not sure how it got 400+ views on Flickr.)

Since my latest mix was for another YA novel, I decided to make cover art for it, too.

Anna and her Golden Boy

Then I started an 8tracks account, which means all my mixes needs cover art! I threw these together for My Mad Fat Diary and Misfits.

Wow, do I use a warm color palette for every cover art design or what?

Why yes, apparently I do. Trubie is proof.

For my Warm Bodies and Syfy Alice mixes, I just used the square fanart I'd already made. And for Wild display of nerdery, it's a photo from our last beach trip.

I Am LWB t-shirt

Several months ago, I got a note from LWB that they were designing volunteer t-shirts and did I want to see if I could improve the design?

Of course!

I never got to see one in person (I think mine got lost in transit), but I swiped this image of Karin Peak (Henan Healing Home Surgery Coordinator) wearing hers with Amy Eldridge at the CAO Annual Summit:

Go, LWB!


U.S. 11 Antique Alley Yard Sale

Oh, the assignments lately! Photo galleries for Annual U.S. 11 Antique Alley Yard Sale and Tigers for Tomorrow at McGuffey Healthcare...

Burmese Python

Photo galleries AND stories for PADS-Gadsden and Devan Lowe's honor roll vehicle giveaway. (Story here.)


GT-0523 A01

Spring 2013 issue

My story in this issue was on Alison Hathcock's cookies.

Angela Lipscomb, owner of It’s Yogurtime, says Alison’s cookies are wonderful.

“They are a blend of a cake and a cookie. The decorating is how the cookie grabs your attention. They are all hand-glazed and decorated by Alison. She can take almost any idea you have and make a cookie out of it.”

Alison says most customers know just what they want. They will send her party invitations, coloring pages or something they’ve found on Pinterest. Others tell her “do your thing; I trust you.”

Visually, I tried to do some things in this issue that I hadn't before.

As usual, if I'm blogging about one issue, it means it's time to start putting together the next one. Into the mines.