Galaxy Dyed Vans

My oldest son finished third grade this past spring and that year was the first time I had been able to volunteer in his class with any regularity. I volunteered once a week when they attended art class and I was able to get to know a few of the students and learn a little about third grade dynamics. This is the gist of what I learned:

  • Third graders are still emotionally sensitive. They want to be cool, but they still suffer from the emotional instability that plagued them at the magical age of seven.

  • Third graders aren’t quite old enough to believe that everything is stupid… yet. But they’re getting close.

  • Third graders can be really mean!

It was so fun to be able to help out when I could and I hope I’m able to join his fourth grade class as often as I can in the fall.

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A while back, my son had it in his head that he needed more expensive shoes. Supposedly, a kid in his class declared that his Keen shoes were “dollar store shoes,” and that cool kids only wear expensive shoes. Ugh.

First, I reminded him that we actually can’t buy him super cheap shoes anymore because he’ll rip through them faster than you can even say the words “Dollar Store.” Second, I explained to him that how much a pair of shoes costs means absolutely squat. What matters is if they fit comfortably, look good to you, and keep your feet dry. And it’s nice if they last a while, or at least until they’re outgrown.

Their teacher reprimanded the kid who tried to make others feel bad if they didn’t have $100+ shoes, but I did my own little passive-aggressive comeback (with my son’s blessing, of course). I made him some custom-dyed Vans.

Vans are ALL the rage among kids from elementary school all through high school. I have to admit that it makes me chuckle to see teenagers wearing the exact same pair of checkerboard Vans I’m wearing. I wear them because I like how they look and they’re slip-on, and I LOVED them when I was a kid.

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We bought some plain white Vans from Journeys earlier this month and I galaxy-dyed them in green and blue, my son’s favorite colors. I used fiber-reactive dye from Dharma Trading and a similar technique that I use for galaxy-dyed clothes and baby carrier. They ended up being quite a pain to rinse, the dye inside the soles was tough to get out. I also did my best to mask off the white rubber to prevent them from being stained by the dye. Lastly, I masked off the rubber and labels when I painted stars with fabric paint.

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I really love how they turned out and so does my son. Apparently a few of his friends want a pair now. #momwin

Holiday Cards 2018

Holiday cards are up in my Etsy shop and will be available until December 14, 2018. If you don’t have any Etsy account or would prefer to place an order outside of Etsy, you’re welcome to send me an email and I’ll get your holiday card made.

Here are some of the designs I added this year. Click on the images below to link to the listings on Etsy.

These two designs also have the option to showcase one portrait photo instead of two landscape.

This one below can be done with either a blue, red, or green background.

I also added our holiday card from last year. You can choose between a green, red, or blue faux knitted sweater background.

I added two background variations to my popular Santa’s Most Wanted holiday card.

The design below is a variation on the Santa’s Most Wanted Card that I created for a client a couple of years ago. This one really cracked me up! Through the listing you can choose from three different chalkboard background colors: red, green, or blue.

If you’d like to customize any of these designs with different colors, fonts, or layouts, it’s totally doable through a custom order. Just shoot me a message or email with any questions you may have: alextebowdesigns@gmail.com

Happy Holidays!

First Day of School Signs - 2018

I was thrilled to get to create a bunch of First Day of School signs for so many awesome kids this year. First Day of School signs are available in my Etsy shop in the summer months through the end of September. They also can be ordered by sending me an email if you’d prefer to not go through Etsy. I customize the text using your child’s information and their favorite colors. Then you print the sign yourself.

Here’s a sampling of this year’s kids with their signs:

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Here are my two boys this year. I wonder how many years they’ll let me keep doing this??

First Day of School Sign

There will be three different font styles to choose from when they are available. The backgrounds look like a faux chalkboard and they’re set to print on 8.5x11 paper. If you want it to look more like an actual chalkboard, you can trim off the white edge and/or print onto thicker card stock. Or your can back it with a piece of cardboard. The colors print most vibrant on glossy paper, but then you have a potential glare when taking a photo. It looks more like a real chalkboard when printed on matte paper. The choice is yours.

If you live in a country where A4 paper is the norm, just let me know and I can send it at that size.

Happy First Day!!

Emily & Shane's Honeymoon Suite

Emily and Shane got hitched last December with a fun, bicycle-themed wedding. You can see the invitations and signs from their wedding right here

Now that they're enjoying married life, they set off for a summer of adventures in their new camper. To put a custom twist on their camper, I designed a decal that used a similar bicycle as the one from their wedding invitations. They had two printed and put on their camper. I LOVE how it turned out! 

Emily & Shane, Custom Decal
Emily & Shane, Custom Decal

Congrats again Shane and Emily and I hope your summer adventure was fantastic!

2017 Holiday Cards

We're a week away from Thanksgiving and I have holiday cards on my mind already! Below are a handful of the customizable cards available in my Etsy shop or available as custom orders. I love trying out different textures and backgrounds. Some of my favorites end up surprising me, like that fun knitted sweater texture! 

I will be accepting orders for custom holiday cards through Friday, December 15th. After that my family will be traveling to spend our Winter Break in California. I can set up ANY of the files I create to be printed anywhere; whether you plan to print with a local print shop, VistaPrint, OvernightPrints, or even print on your home printer. Just let me know so I can set up the files correctly. If you'd like a design on the back of your holiday card, let me know. If you mention this blog post, I'll create a design for the back at NO extra charge!

Click on any of these photos to link to the listing on Etsy if it's available there. 

This was our holiday card a couple of years ago, and I still swoon a little bit over my boys so little and so cute in their matching PJs. We are doing Santa photos like this again (that's me in the Santa suit!), and again my boys want to wear matching PJs. This card is available in your choice of 4 chalkboard background colors. We can use which ever coordinates best with your family photo.

This is such a fun design with the polaroid photos on top of a faux wood background. Choose a layout with 4, 5, or 6 photos and customize the caption at the bottom of each one, or you can leave them blank. Also choose between a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays greeting.

This is the holiday card we mailed to our friends and family last year. The selfie pose was my oldest son's idea and that's me in the Santa suit! I LOVE how it turned out. Choose from four different colors for the faux knitted background. 

I still love a faux chalkboard background, and a smiling face just makes it even better. Choose between four different color schemes.

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This is my most popular design and I still love it. I will update the listing to show a couple of color options for the background and a couple of script font options too. 

I love this knitted sweater background! Showcase a handful of family photos and choose from 3 background colors.

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This card features faux watercolor holly leaves and pine needles on background that has a faint wood grain. Showcases one family photo or I can do a collage of photos that fill the same space. 

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This was such a fun design that I did for my sister and brother-in-law. The comic book theme works with 6 photos and all of the text is customizable. This one is only available as a custom order. Shoot me an email to talk about placing an order.

I love a watercolor background! This custom card can be done as a collage with four photos like pictured, or with just one square image of your family. Choose from four different background colors too.

If you love any one of the designs in my Etsy shop, but you'd like to make changes to the layout, colors, fonts, or create a completely custom holiday card for your family, please shoot me an email and we can talk pricing. 

Cheers!