Cute as a Button!

woodbox.

Last Christmas I received this 1 inch button maker from my husband. While some women would be a little bit upset that they did not receive jewelry, I was so excited, I think I was jumping up and down. I have been wanting a button maker ever since I worked on this story for Martha Stewart Weddings. For a while I was a making buttons like a crazy lady. I have probably made at least 50 of each letter by now.

I thought I would show you how I make these cute buttons and use them to wrap special gifts. To the untrained eye, it looks like calligraphy written with white gouache onto black paper, but it’s much easier and quicker! (The buttons featured in the Martha Stewart story used actual calligraphy writing.) Using a pointed pen nib, and black ink on white paper, I wrote out the capital letters A-Z and scanned it in at 600 dpi. I saved each letter as a separate file. I dropped the letters into Illustrator and reversed the letters out on a 1.5 inch black circle background and I printed them, in this case letters A-F out on my laser printer.

maybellealphabet

Using this 1 1/4 sized circular punch I cut out each letter. I gathered the parts that come with the button maker, shown here: maybelle.buttonparts

I pressed them in the button maker, video demonstration here, and viola! I love the simplicity of gifts wrapped in kraft paper, tied with black hemp twine. The calligraphy initial tied at the top makes the recipient feel special and the package feels finished without being overdone.

maybelle.wrapping

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new website – behind the scenes

maybelle.botanicalwebsite

I feel as though have been talking about this website re-design for a few years now, it’s been on my list of things to do, and  then our twins were born,  so it prolonged the process even more, about three years more to be exact. Well, it’s here and I’m so excited to share it with you, however I can’t help but feel like I have just given birth to another baby! While I did enjoy the time with my kids during the early years, now it’s time for me to hit the ground, running.

When I ran the idea of my website re-design by Tristan I knew that she understood my concept, but how embarassing is this very rough sketch that I showed her? I’ve had this botanical poster idea (an obsession, actually) for my splash page, and I wanted to showcase some of my illustrations as well as my hand lettering. Thankfully, she really “gets” me and knew exactly who to put me in touch with, in case you don’t know, Tristan has THE best taste in the whole wide world, so her opinion really mattered. I am so glad because Sarah and Lindsay at Hello-Monday are AMAZING! If anyone is looking for someone for their site, I highly recommend them!

If any of you remember, my old site had a very hand-done feel and I didn’t want to lose much of that, as much as possible on screen. I wanted to be able to update the site from time to time and I wanted a blog built in to the site, etc. I don’t have a budget to hire a designer to update my site each time there was a minor change. I am so pleased with my decision to go with a custom WordPress site.

I submitted a tighter sketch shown here for my website. I have completely outgrown ‘may+_____ drawing of a bell’ so, I used my long hyphenated name which I hand lettered in my version of an imperfect Bodoni, I wanted the same treatment as you would see on a botanical poster. Sarah and I had a meeting and then she got to work. She is so gifted because to take what I provided and add her design sensibility to what we ended up with is magic! She came back with too many great designs to choose from but once the final design was approved, Lindsay got to work and custom coded the site, she is another gifted one because coding is a foreign language, and viola my website!

MAYBELLE.website

 

I want to send a very special THANK YOU to all my friends and family who viewed my site in all the different stages. To all my followers on instagram, tumblr, facebook, pinterest and twitter, and my blog!  To my husband Greg for his fantastic ideas, expert woodworking skills and for making what I love to do possible by being such a wonderful dad and putting the kids to bed every night in order for me to work late. To Sarah and Lindsay of Hello-Monday for agreeing to take on my project, for your patience with my late night website help. To Tristan, for all your branding expertise, non-stop ideas, and for believing in me. Traci Williams for lending her photography skills for my portfolio, Laura Monfredini of Elle Photographs for waking up early one Sunday morning to take photos of me in Golden Gate park, (blog section) Victoria Stanell for her gift of editing which put the finishing touches to my site, to my friend Vic at MilkfedPress for being one of the best printers around  and making my work come alive! And last but not least to the talented and inspiring Elizabeth Messina for teaching me how to see the world in a completely new and exciting way! Many, many thanks! xoxo

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