Quick Typography: His and Hers

Good morning!

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend! Chris and I were busy bees with a wedding, attending a baby shower (me), and helping with cabinet installation for our friends (him). We did sneak in some time to finish up a season of 24 and start the seventh season. Aside from my husband … Jack Bauer is my favorite man. I don’t see it as a problem that he’s fictional. Fun fact, Chris and I have decided to name our next dog Bauer in homage to our favorite TV show of all time. I about died when I heard about 24 returning for a mini-season next year.

Chris will be heading out to work on site later this week, and I always get a little sad to see him go. After 3+ years of this we definitely are used to the time apart and luckily he’s not gone for months at a time like he used to be! I’m a sentimental person already, but I think his frequent absences only add to that. In some ways it’s nice because the time we have together is always special, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want a “normal” life.

To offset some of my mopey mood over Chris leaving, I try to work on fun little projects. A month or so ago I whipped up some fun art for our bathroom. Since we’ve moved in, the two full baths have stayed mostly untouched. I have ideas for them, but working in such small spaces can be frustrating and I’m just not ready to tackle that yet. But, this quick project is easy to move around when I decide to paint and could end up really anywhere in our house.

I wanted to make a “his and hers” type piece that kind of highlighted our individual quirks and the different parts of our relationship. Chris and I are like oil and water, but we also have the potential to be the perfect balance. Maybe in 50 years or so we’ll reach that balance, ha! Since neither of us can stand to sit still, I think it’s better that we married each other. It’s always exciting and even if we butt heads (a lot), it’s really fun in a weird way (right, babe?).

I ended up resizing my paper to 12 x 12 and just typing little sayings about each of us. To make it look truly square I “justified” my text as I went and just moved my little phrases around until I got a look I liked. After I had my phrases, I added a text box, made the font size gigantic and typed “he” or “she” on the appropriate page. I chose a fun font, FFF Tusj that I had downloaded from dafont.com as the font for that text. I moved the text box to the back so the phrases were on top and readable, and changed the font color to a yellow that would show up, but not overpower the main text.

I printed the 2 pages at Kinkos and the cost for both pages was under 3 bucks! I grabbed two 12 x 12 frames at Michaels and they ended up being less than $20 total with my coupon.

Heshe

This project was super quick and inexpensive. I really love it and it looks great in our bathroom. They hang above our towel hooks, but who knows, I’m sure they’ll move somewhere else at some point! I would show y’all a picture, but it’s almost impossible to get a good photo in a room that small and who knows! Maybe I’ll get myself together enough to revamp that bathroom this summer and we’ll have a grand reveal! If you look closely at “he,” you can see a major grammar mistake from where I decided to change how I was wording it and just didn’t catch it. It sounds crazy if you actually read it out loud, but it makes me laugh!

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Vision Quest

The show Happy Endings is one of my favorites – check out reruns on ABC.com. Apparently, it’s in danger of getting the axe based on traditional statistical television viewing analyses (I don’t know either), but here’s a fantastic article that describes how it’s different from the other six attractive friends in an urban setting sitcoms that have sprung up since the success of Friends.

One character (Jane Kirkovich) is super organized and intentional about every. single. thing. she. does. She’s always trying to get her friends to be the same way (last week she tried to make over the friendly slob, Max). In the episode that inspired my post today, she tries to help Penny decide to happen to life, instead of having life happen to her.

So, it’s a silly sitcom, but I watched it at a time in my own life when I was trying to articulate just that idea. Thanks to Pinterest, I was quickly and easily able to assemble my own vision board of sorts. I named it “The Jane,” in honor of the character who inspired me.

Most of my own board appears to have become positivity central (Sidebar: does anyone else have Pinterest load only random parts of their boards occasionally?). I have also pinned visualizations I particularly liked that indicated, for me, what home is about, or career ideas, along with some very special role models. A few of the highlights that are cooperating at this time:

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The key component of an effective vision board is that it gives you a visual shorthand to feel inspired. Not in the way that window shopping or Pinterest does – this is not about having a to-do list. This is about feeling out what your life looks like when the to-do list becomes a been-done list.

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Making Engineer Prints Meaningful

This weekend I was able to finally complete a project that I’d been brainstorming for a long time. It’s a very special DIY and one of the most important things that I own. For a little backstory, when Chris and I got married we had people at our wedding write us 50 notes – one to open every year on our anniversary for 50 years. All of our family members wrote one and we left the remainders on the various tables for our friends to leave us their two cents. We’re coming up on our third wedding anniversary this summer, so we’ve opened two letters so far. One is from my Grandma and Grandpa Garzia. They weren’t able to travel for our wedding, so we wanted their advice as soon as possible. The second note was written by my Grandpa Ramsey on behalf of him and my grandmother.

I am so blessed – lucky, whatever you want to call it – to have such close family and to have such strong relationships with my extended family. My Grandpa Ramsey and I were as thick as thieves. He loved his grandchildren so fiercely and we loved him just the same back. A short time after my wedding my strong as a hurricane grandpa was diagnosed with cancer. He didn’t take it lying down and fought his best – kind of like every other part of his life. He passed just over a year ago and there’s still a hole in all our hearts. That’s where this meaningful DIY comes in using the note he wrote for us to open on our second anniversary.

Original note

The note reads: “Congratulations on making it to your second anniversary!! On ours, we were living on Grandpa McClurg’s farm and Grandma hated the loneliness and isolation that went with farm life. Things were much better for us when we moved to Florida and ultimately got you as our Granddaughter, and things have been more good than bad over the years. Grandma and I wish you a happy 2nd anniversary and pray that you can be writing one of these notes in 50 years. Chris: I hope you’re taking care of our little girl like an honorable man should! Grandma and Grandpa Ramsey”

This obviously means so much to me and I wanted it displayed in a prominent way in our home.

I did a little sprucing up in our kitchen last month, and I’ve had this empty space left that I’ve been brainstorming on. I like a little blank space, but this wall between the cabinets and doors needed something special. I thought of the note that we opened on our second anniversary, with some very special words from my grandpa. Ever since we opened it, I’ve been keeping the note in my studio, trying to decide what to do with it. That wall seemed perfect for something graphic as well as something important to Chris and me.

Please pardon my photos, I'm still learning

Please pardon my photos, I’m still learning

I stumbled across the idea of “Engineer Prints” on Pinterest and I’ve seen them featured on several blogs. But, for a while I was too intimidated to go to Staples and get this cheapo prints made! Don’t ask me why. Finally last weekend I took the plunge, drug my friend Kathryn along with me, and got a picture of Chris and I enlarged for a blank wall in my studio. Apparently the engineer print craze hasn’t caught on so much here in Central Virginia, because the folks at Staples looked at me kind of crazy when I asked for my 4 x 6 photo to be blown up to 24 x 36. But, we got it done and for $3.77 I had a huge black and white print for my studio.

I felt very confident taking my Grandpa’s note in (Kathryn with me again), but they obviously didn’t remember me from the previous weekend. When I explained what I wanted – just a sample of handwriting – I was asked, “Are you a lawyer?” I’m not sure why that asked that, but I’m assuming they thought I was looking into fraudulent signatures. Mhm. MKG, esquire.

Both times I went in, for the picture of Chris and I and for the note, they would say, “Well, this is probably going to end up pixelated because it’s so small. It might not look very good.” I didn’t have that problem with my photo or the note, so don’t let that deter you if you get the same line! I told them to go ahead and try it, and after scanning it in, uploading to their computer, and printing – I had a 24 x 36 inch print of my grandfather’s note to us! I was so thrilled that they could get the whole note on the print, including the date he wrote at the bottom.

Print

On our way home we stopped for a poster frame. They were 40% off and I was able to use my teacher discount making the frame total under $17. All we did was slip the print in the frame, find out where on the wall to hang it, and then I made Kathryn stand on her tiptoes while I rummaged for a hammer and nail. We nailed it in, brushed the lint off the frame, and immediately loved it. For under $20 and about 10 minutes of work time, my space was filled and I get to see such a meaningful note every day.

Finished

I’m so thrilled with how this came out and it already makes my heart feel full seeing what he wrote whenever I pass through the kitchen and dining room. I think it’s also a really interesting piece that will create conversation for family and friends.

Have any of you tried our an engineer print? Can you believe that a color print the same size costs almost $40! The black and white is just fine with me!

xo, MKG, esquire