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.

IMG_3333.jpg

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.

FullSizeRender.jpg

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.

IMG_9266.jpg
IMG_9270.jpg
IMG_9268.jpg

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

Smith's 3rd Birthday

Smith turned three this spring and his mommy, Jessica threw him a dinosaur-themed party for the big day. We went with lime green, yellow, and shades of blue for his custom birthday items. Jessica was gracious enough to send me a few photos from his party too, check it out!

Custom invitation:

IMG_2849.jpg

I love the wording!

IMG_2851.jpg
IMG_2853.jpg

Cupcake toppers:

IMG_2257.jpg

Penant Banner:

IMG_2228.jpg

Thank you card:

IMG_2854.jpg

It looks like your party was a blast, happy birthday Smittysaurus!

Our Holiday Card - 2017

I look forward to creating our holiday card every year. I do a lot of design work for clients throughout the year, but I don't do much for my little family. We don't have elaborate birthday parties for our boys, so our annual holiday card is the one thing I get to work on that's entirely personal. 

A few years ago, a friend introduced me to a local photography company called FotoFly. They do unique Santa photos every year where one of the parents wears the Santa suit, hopefully ensuring that the kids are calm and happy for photos. The results produce some really beautiful and unique holiday photos. 

My boys and Santa have been the feature image on all of our holiday cards since the very first card I created in 2013. You can see other years here: 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Here is the card I created for 2017:

IMG_5001.jpg

I used the fun knitted sweater texture that I created last year. My oldest requested a dark green background. And since our cards hardly ever include my husband and me, I added a little snippet at the bottom, "Bill & Alex send their love too."

IMG_5004.jpg

I had my cards printed with OvernightPrints for the first time this year. I've always used VistaPrint, but this year, both companies' pricing was comparable and a close friend of mine raved about the quality of her business cards that were printed with OvernightPrints. So I gave them a go. They didn't charge me extra to print my cards two-sided, which I love, so above is what I put on the back. Plus, only $1 to add rounded corners. Score!

When I shared my photos on my Instagram account, I was notified shortly after Christmas that I won their Art & Design contest! Woot!

Part of my prize was being featured on their blog. Click on the image below to read the blog post:

Thank you so much OvernightPrints for not only beautifully printed holiday cards, but for the feature! Pretty sure you've created a very loyal customer. 

Notre Dame Irish Knight Band T-shirt

A few years ago, I created a t-shirt for the marching band from Notre Dame High School in Northridge, CA. A friend of mine, Linsdey and her husband, Chris both attended this high school and were still involved with their marching band. They were traveling to Dublin, Ireland for a school trip and wanted a t-shirt to commemorate. 

I researched different Irish and Celtic designs to come up with the finished product. I wasn't able to get one of the actual shirts to photograph, so I made this mockup.

I'm really happy with how it turned out, especially with the design going over the shoulder. 

I hope the trip was amazing! Thanks!

Our Holiday Card - 2015

This was the second year we attempted to take Santa photos with both of my boys. Last year's card was such a hit (at least for me), that we dared do it again. This time, my mother-in-law was in town when we scheduled the photo session, so my oldest asked if she could be the one to wear the Santa suit. She was happy to oblige. 

2015Front.jpg

Despite both my husband and me making silly noises and faces behind the photographer, our toddle simply would not smile! Meh, we tried. Thank you FotoFly for hiring photographers who are great with kids and take some pretty rad photos.

2015Back.jpg

He cracked a tiny smile when he got to eat a cookie though. He inherited my sweet tooth. 

We printed our cards with VistaPrint and I was thrilled to get them mailed well before Christmas. I'm pretty sure I can count on one hand how many times that has happened. 

This holiday card design is available in my Etsy shop in the fall. You can view the listing here. Merry Christmas!