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Teal Mason Jars

by abby on September 30, 2011 | Comment

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One of my favorite colors is teal. It’s a color that I have always been able to live with, without ever getting tired of it. I also love vintage glassware. So when I began to see vintage TEAL mason jars popping up you can imagine how excited I became. However, all the ones I saw were already refurbished and expensive. I don’t mind getting a little dirty, so I thought maybe these jars would be for sale at local yard sales. I mentioned this idea to a good friend of mine, who happens to be the Queen of the Yard Sale. “No problem” was her answer and within a couple of weeks, I was the proud parent of 3 charming, extremely dirty, teal mason jars. I was even more elated that 2 of them had glass tops!
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My little teal gang was pretty dirty, but the beauty of their color and form was shinning through all the rust and grim. I pulled on rubber gloves and went to work scrubbing and soaking and scrubbing and soaking and then scrubbing some more. It look a weekend’s work of love, but I eventually got these little jars back into shape!
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abbydora vintage wedding

My teal jars are giant leaps better than they were, but you’ll notice they aren’t perfect. A little grim still clings on, but as D says “It shows their history and gives them a little more character”. Well said D, well said. I’m very happy to have my mason jars. “The twins”, the jars with the glass tops, are proudly displayed on my mantle, adding a splash of color to my collection of black frames. The other jar is happily sitting on my windowsill in my studio. I smile every time I see them.

Font Finds: Touch of Curl

by abby on September 27, 2011 | Comment

Those of you who have seen me know that I am fond of curls. I proudly rock a head of thick, curly, brown hair. It look several years to figure out how to tame my curls and fight the fizz and excess. I feel that decorative curls in display type have also refined over the years. We have come a long way since the overly bubbly, high school cheer leader-like, Curlz typeface of the 90’s.

I’ve collected three of my favorite recent finds of type that add a touch of flare with curls. In all three examples, you’ll notice that these modern display typefaces add accents of curls to certain letters. Absence makes the heart grow fonder! The letter forms that do show the “swooshes” capture our attention and create the extra drama needed for display type.

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I love the capital G in our first font find. Everyone, say hello to LiebeDoni. I found this font through My Fonts. Apparently, this guy is all the talk of the town and it was posted on My Fonts Hot New Fonts. Who can argue with all the surge of enthusiasm for this typeface! LiebeDoni’s ligatures are delightful. The informal line quality itself gives this font a playful hand drawn quality, but not so much that it looses its sophistication. Can’t wait to try this font in an assignment!

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Pluto is another My Fonts typeface that gives its sans serif self a touch of light-heartedness. It’s almost like it’s a bit of an awkward adolescent. The top curve of the capital C feels as if it comes down too close to the other end, making it feel slightly awkward. But somehow this makes it endearing to me. I also love the movement created by the curved feet on the lower case type.

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With 2 My Fonts typefaces already a hit with me, why mess with success?
My third font find is called Solomon and it has wonderful dramatic swirls in the capital S and lowercase b. Is it me or does this sans serif font feel a little sexy? Must be all those slinking curls that your eye rolls over. Once again the curls add warmth to the sans serif type. It’s all the little details that make this font friendly and flirty. For instance, did you notice the slight back bend of the ascender in the lower case k? How about the just shy curve of the lower case e on its base? These are wonderful quirky details that give this typeface life!

Did I inspire you? Do you adore curls now? Are you mysteriously craving sticking buns?

This Girl Scout Gives Back

by abby on September 20, 2011 | Comment

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Thanks to the Girl Scouts my youth was filled with memories of weekly troop meetings, camping overnights, and even a trip to Switzerland to visit a World Girl Scout Center. You could say, “I went all the way with the Girl Scouts”. I started as a First Grade Brownie and ended as a 12th Grade Senior Scout who earned her Gold Award (the Eagle Scout equivalent). The Girl Scouts are an amazing organization that offers girls hands-on opportunities to learn about leadership, teamwork, and expanding self-awareness. Sounds impressive, right?, but really when I was a Girl Scout, all of those skills were learned through truly fun activities. One of my favorites? Kicking a large coffee can around a field making homemade ice cream!

Knowing that I have a soft spot for the Girl Scouts in my heart I was utterly delighted to receive an email last Winter asking me to help create the new updated badge book for the Girl Scouts! I had come full circle and could give back to the organization that gave me so much. Needless to say, I jumped at this opportunity.

The scope of reworking The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting for all levels of Girls Scout was quite large, so the project was broken down into sections. I was part of the team working on the Senior Scouts badges. Today, these are girls who are in the early years of high school. Designing for this age group was even more fun with the addition of being able to reuse historical illustrations from previous badge books printed in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. Having access to these assets was like being able to peak into the vaults at GS headquarters.
book layout

The new badge book has come a long way from my days of a plain text workbook. The redesigned layouts are colorful combinations of text, styled photographs, and illustrations. It was my goal to make the layouts visually inviting as well as be able to clearly convey information. Here are a few of my personal favorites.
abby book layout
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abby badge book design

With the start of the new school year means the start of another scouting year too. And this year each Girl Scout will be getting a copy of the newly designed badge book. I hope it inspires girls to try new things, see new places, and keep the Girls Scouts alive and well.

Rochester Holiday Market

by abby on September 15, 2011 | Comment

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I’m happy to announce that AbbyDora Design will be participating in another art and craft festival! This time I’ll be in the Holiday Market, sponsored by the Junior League of Rochester. The Holiday Market not only is a great opportunity to support local artists, but all the ticket proceeds from this event help support the Junior League’s GIRLSrock! program, which benefits the lives of girls in the Rochester community.

Here are the details:
October 15th & 16th
Saturday 10am-5pm
Sunday 10am-4pm
Fair & Expo Center 2695 E. Henrietta Rd, Rochester, NY
$5/person, free to children ages 12 and under

There will be over 100 booths filled with holiday gift opportunities! Get a jump on your holiday shopping and holiday decorations at the AbbyDora Design booth. I’ll have a great selection of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Chanukah cards. There also will be festive paper garlands to add touches of the holiday season to your Christmas trees, banisters, windows, or mantles. And of course, in addition to the new holiday products, I’ll have prints of my children’s illustration and a whole selection of cards for birthdays and other reasons to celebrate. Send a smile with an AbbyDora Design card.

Spread the word!
Pass it on!
And I hope you to see you at the Rochester Holiday Market If you still aren’t sure…I’ll be once again giving away delicious cookies with their own recipe card. Perhaps the new cookie recipe for your own Holiday Cookie Exchange?

Halloween & Thanksgiving Cards Available

by abby on September 13, 2011 | Comment

abbydora custom cards
Finally Fall has arrived and with the cooler temperatures it’s just getting busier and busier here in the studio. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been finalizing and producing my next round of holiday card collections and single holiday cards. Today, I’m happy to present the first installment of these new stationary pieces!

All the notecards are now available at my shop along with other great gifts for everyday occasions. The first collection of cards are for one of my favorite holidays, Halloween! Filled with grinning jack-o-lanterns and touches of autumn oranges, there is a card here for you.
abby holiday cards
Halloween custom card
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cute halloween card

I’ve also created a wonderful set stationary featuring patterns of Autumn leaves. In rich purples, oranges, and golden yellows these cards would be perfect for sending a “Happy Thanksgiving” to friends and family. The set includes 2 cards of each design, for a set of 6 cards.
abbydora personalized cards
graphic silhouette leaves
abby illustration

Find out more about each of these Halloween and Thanksgiving designs and see more photos by clicking on any of the above photos. Stay tuned for the next round of holiday cards: Chanukah and Christmas!

Be Your Own Curator

by abby on September 9, 2011 | Comment

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Thanks to a great tip from HOW Magazine I discovered a fantastic new website to help me be more organized and creative. The site is called Wookmark and it allows you to have your own virtual bulletin board to collect images from all over the web of visuals that inspire you.

For each image you collect, you can site the source, tag it to a group for better organization, or even start discussions on it with other members. You also can add images already collected from other members, too. And the best part—to add a visual it couldn’t be easier! First, you install a bookmark button to your browser and when you find an image that interests you on a website, you simply click the Wookmark button and all the visuals on the page appear as selectable options. Click your preferred image, add your details, and voila, you’re done. You don’t have to be logged in at Wookmark to save images. The image is automatically placed on your bulletin board when you save your image. So simple, so beautiful!

Fall Collection
abbydora illustration

Vintage search within Wookmark
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Besides just general fun of collecting inspiring design and art this could help designers and artists assemble a mood board for an upcoming project or even photo reference. Need to start that Holiday Gift list? Why not use Wookmark to make a visual one! Are you a foodie that loves new recipes, but you also want those money shots of the finished dish? Wookmark is your solution. One note of warning: Wookmark makes collecting beautiful things so much fun it’s addicting!

AbbyDora Design in the News

by abby on September 4, 2011 | Comment

abbydora design watercolor
Just over a week ago, I was quite honored to be in an article featured in the Rochester Business Journal about the next generation of artists in the Rochester area. I was even more flattered to have a great studio photograph included with the piece!

The article interviewed 3 artists, each from a different genre of the arts: music, dance, and visual arts. I was selected as the visual artist. If you would like to read the entire interview, you’ll find it here.

I am truly grateful to be a part of a wonderful art community here in upstate New York. Rochester might be a smaller city, but she is filled with many artists and art appreciators.

Font Finds: Top Fonts for Designers

by abby on September 2, 2011 | Comment

Are you a designer that has a group of favorite fonts that you just shuffle together again and again? Or do you have no limit to your font usage? “The more the merrier” is your motto! Well, I myself have a few favorites I like to keep close, but I am willing to seek out a new acquaintance if the project requires it.

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One of my favorite serif typefaces is Mrs. Eaves. For me, its just the right amount of class with a little retro-cute feel. Plus, comes with its own Petite Caps! I was happy to see that Mrs. Eaves made it to the runner up status in Web Designer’s Depot list of Designer’s Most Popular Fonts. This means, that yes, its a great font, BUT its not yet being over used! Hooray!

Check out the list for yourself. Did your top typefaces make the cut? If not, which ones makes your heart pitter-patter?