& the slipper still fits

cheveron stripes psd

Everywhere I've been going, I see Chevron Stripes, and while my mother would tell you this is something form her era, I actually really like them. BUT they can be a serious pain in the butt to create. Since I had some extra time, I thought I'd make a few for my favorite dear readers. 

This is just a psd file with different layers featuring a different sized chevron stripes. The best thing to do is copy/paste the selected layer on to your image of choice and change the color with the paint bucket. They were also made SUPER large so that you can use them in large wallpapers and for print media. Leave a comment if you have any questions!

discover something new?

Are you dealing with the summertime blues dear reader? Have you been listlessly surfing the internet or the tv channels but nothing seems to spark your fancy? I’ve been there. I’m doing that. And even though I don’t get a summer vacation, I am most certainly struggling with the anstys.

Normally, I would tell you to pop in Persuasion or watch one of our favorite versions of Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice, but…they’re not helping. I’m serious. Something it utterly wrong with me dear reader. Tell me this is happening to you too. Tell me a flip of Mr. Thornton’s hair, while still thoroughly entertaining, has struggled to keep your attention for the last few months. (I’m not saying the sight of his naked neck isn’t still turning my head, mind you.) Tell me that Mr. Darcy’s general taciturn speech isn’t captivating you.

Nope? No one? You’re all gonna leave me hanging out here aren’t you? Every costume drama girl for herself here, aren’t we. Well, fine. I can take it. I’ll own up to it. The burnout has hit me hard this time and I’m strong enough to say so.

But if – just in case –  you’re feeling the same way I am: that our old favorites aren’t hitting the spot this summer, why not try watching something completely different? Thanks to the mini-series nature of costume dramas, we girls are much more able and apt to watch entire seasons of shows in 1-2 sitting(s) without blinking. So why not watch a season of something you wanted to see last fall, but could never catch? Today I propose an option that will leave you enchanted. 

Once – ABC
When I heard tales of this fairytale show from ABC/Disney I just about jumped out of my skin – in a good way. I will forever be that doop at Disneyland with tears in her eyes over the fairytales of my youth. I screamed with joy when I saw the lineup for actors and characters, and just about alienated my entire family with my emphatic commentary during the series premiere. That didn’t sell you? Lemmesplain.

Do you remember watching the 10th Kingdom? That glorious month where we traveled with Virginia and Wolf through the 9 kingdoms to help save Prince Wendell? (I still ask my cat if we’re going for a “walkies” fyi…) Once is like the 10th Kingdom on Disney steroids – the ones where you can directly make your favorite characters just like the Disney versions and not get slapped with a law suit. The goodies are lovely, the baddies rock (I still believe Mr. Gold is my favorite character and Maleficent was ROBBED of more screen time), and the costuming is something pretty fantastic too.

This is not that knock-off 80s crap going on over at the CW. This isn’t even one of those made for TV movies with low production values. This is a series with big dollars invested and even bigger supporters creating a unique world that could only be done with Disney’s support.

Short storyline version – Regina (Snow White’s evil queen) loses her epic battle with Snow White and Prince Charming and promises to send everyone someplace where there are no happy endings (present day Maine…it’s a very unhappy place I’ve been told! – have you been to Maine? You know they have troubles right?) She succeeds (go baddies?!) but not before Snow White can have a baby and send it to Maine first. That baby shows up 28 years later as Emma Swan – man’s woman, woman about bounty hunting, birth mom to Evil Queen’s stepson Henry. In order for Emma to save everyone she has to defeat Regina and break the curse; which we do find out at the end of season 1. Really we get a nice little wrap up with the season finale. 3 guesses how the daughter of Snow White breaks the curse…

What I love: I love seeing our standard characters with life breathed into them. I love that we have huge fairytale characters intertwined into multiple storylines. I love how the writers have the freedom to play with Disney lore and make it real for our generation. (Come on dear reader, we are the generation that grew up on a healthy diet from birth of Disney, Winnie the Pooh and Star Wars.) I love that while the evil characters do some pretty messed up stuff, they are still people you want to root for, and dare I say, be friends with.


If you only watch one episode:
If you’re not sold by my fanboating/rambling I suggest watching episode 17, Hat Trick. Why? Well, I think the mad hatter’s storyline is one of the most interesting we have seen on the show and draws you into the modern storyline well too. There’s nothing like fairytale character personalities in the real world. And Sebastian Stan is brilliant. Just – the way that man can have his eyes filled with tears almost every moment on screen is a wonder. Not to mention his borderline insanity/sanity play is rather fantastic. For that matter, if you want some gushy love gooey eyes, check out episode 3, Snow Falls – you’ll get to see Prince Charming be pretty epically, well, charming.

Don’t watch this episode: Episode 12, Skin Deep. I actually like Emilie DeRaven as Belle. Heck, I even like the twist they play on the beast (I didn’t see that one coming!), but the production values on the episode are just plain poor and the actors aren’t given nearly enough time to develop a truly heart-tugging relationship, and I miss our macho 80s Gaston from the Disney version.

And with all the FANtastic information we just learned from Comic-Con, it looks like season 2 will be something epic to watch. (Link to spoilers! Change is Coming Article | CC Round Up)

You can still catch a few choice episodes over at ABC.com for US viewers, or check out Hulu plus for all the episodes. If not, we all know how much youtube can be your friend. :)


A few days back I found this fantastic article on grouping fonts for your designs. I love finding articles like this. Tell me, when was the last time you only wanted to use 1 font on anything? That's right - NEVER!

Even on our blogs, we have multiple font choices to make and more often than not, we go with what we've always used (inherited from a previous theme or blogger) or just go with one font to be safe. H&FJ gives us the bolstered confidence to not be scared about mixing fonts; and gives us some direction on how to do so too. They even made beautiful and lovely mock ups to show us just what the font combinations would look like in action. I was inspired! Excited! Let's start using these methods to group our own fonts! 

Enter - Heather's tiny problem. I thought all the fonts they were featuring where accessible. In other words - free. I totally somehow missed the purchase font now button on the bottom. 

Do you know how many times lately I've looked for a new font, and then am told I'd have to pay for it? A LOT. This does not make me happy. This is not something I can afford. But wait! Don't despair! Luckily, I'm a little more creative than I thought I was. 

There are free fonts that can help us achieve these same font groupings. And I'm going to share my knock-off font picks with you. Just so we can do a page-to-page comparison, I'm going to use the same colors featured on H&JF's font examples. Let's see how this maps out.

Disclaimer: Buying fonts is like buying artwork - you're helping an at times impoverished medium and artist and helping foster creatively for things we use everyday. If you adore a font - buy it. That being said, there are thousands of free fonts that are beautiful, inspired, and um...cheep. I'm not saying don't buy a font. I'm saying don't feel like you have to buy a font. With enough looking, you'll find something very close to what you were going to pay $100 for.

For a design with Wit, it would cost $427. Here I've replicated the mock-up example using a variation of Bebas (my favs!), Dunkins Sans and Chaparral. Other fonts that could be used to create almost the same look are Headlines One, Antipasto, and Big Mouth. To get this exact look, I did have to play with the character settings in photoshop (this occurs with all the other mock-ups as well.) "Lady Earl Gray" is the font Bebas New set with a gray gradient layer effect on 20% opacity. "Lovely / On the House" is the font Dunkins Sans (based on the Dunkin Donuts font) bolded, with a letter spacing of 200%, and a character height of 120%. "20 individually..." is Chaparral at no change. 

For a design with Energy it would cost $467. This was the first font group I tried replicating and love what I get when you mix Chunk 5, Bebas Original and Fanwood text. Here, I wanted to give you a few secondary options that look just as fantastic. "Breakfast/Mornings/and the food titles" are set in Chuck 5 with no changes. "Cafe de la.." is in Headline One with no changes. Numbers and "Tiffany's/Gwen..." are in Fanwood text with no changes other than regular or italic settings. And "1224..."/food descriptions are in Antipasto no changes. "Reservations/Owner..." are also in Antipasto, but the line height was adjusted to 80%.

A font group with Poise presented the greatest challenge for me. And priced at $697 it should. I'm still not totally happy with the smallest font Ostrich Sans as a subsitution for Verlag, but it does the job well. "Lion Roars" is in the font Black Oak set at a 200% line height and adjusted to have a 18pt space in between each letter. Justus has no changes other than it is set to Italic (a drop down option, not the italic button) for "Just the...", and Ostrich Sans is set to Bold Black and then Medium for "New prosperity...".

A design with Dignity? Well that will put you back $567. What's surprising about this font set, is you could replicate it with Times New Roman, Garamond, and Verdana...if you wanted. (Those all come free on your computer...fyi). Here, I've used Adobe Garamond (a thinner lined font tweaked by Adobe) with no changes for "Lizt Remembered/Suite for Chopin"; Circle New with a character spacing of 50% for the "CML info"; and Fanwood text, all caps and not, for the "The history of" and the paragraph of Lorem ipsum. 

Today, its about Pintrest

Hey strangers!

I know, its been a while - let's not dwell on it :)

I'm hoping back into blogging today with a bit of a new look and a mini revelation.

Pintrest. What do you do with it? I seem to repin what's already been pinned unless its a useful design article or photoshop idea. How do you actually utilize it? I FIGURED IT OUT!!!! (I know, I'm slow.) 

Let's set the scene. My new job is much more design friendly. Yes, I can actually say with confidence - part of the reason they employ me is to "play" in the new Adobe CS6 suite. I just had to share that.It's awesome. And the new suite is gorgeous!

ANYWAY, today I went looking for a specific picture of Paris. One I knew I had saved on my home computer, one I knew came from flickr, but other than that - I was lost. After 30 minutes of looking for it in vain, I realized THIS is why I have a pintrest account. I should have pinned it. Then I could find it. Then I wouldn't have spent 30 minutes in vain.

And - yes, then again! - I realized if I pinned more things I like/find useful online I could easily access all my ideas, actions, brushes, images, rights-free photos and fonts AND tutorials all on my lovely pin board. For me dear reader, this is a revelation. It helps me integrate my resources from home and work and allows me to have everything I need as close as possible.

And not only can it now be a huge resources for me, but it can also allow me to share my inspirations and resources will all of you and others. (If say, but Heather you're not really THAT inspirational right now, I might have toss you out of my kitchen into the 103 heat outside...)

With the job interviews I did a little over a month ago and the consulting I've been doing on the side, it seems like everyone is asking me why/how they should be on pintrest. Which, for the most part, has been a rather emphatic answer of "you don't/shouldn't be on it".  For me, the practical application to connect with customers didn't appeal to me unless your medium was fashion or art or design. Let's face it, people are not going to repin pictures of dental kits, and they probably won't repin a toothbrush tutorial unless it looks homemade. As with most social media applications, people don't want to feel like they're being sold something. They want to feel like they're sharing a best-kept secret.

So, at its best for a company, pintrest should be an extension of your brainstorming or idea gathering for a marketing department, etc. After all, we've gotten much more open about giving credit where credit is due.

This allows customers/followers to feel connected to the creation process. Who doesn't like a behind the scenes? These are ideas I know the fashion houses and design studios have already integrated into their everyday life. They are the groups that don't mind the total access sharing. They also realize how important their online fanbase and presence is. But for the average company who can't use twitter, pintrest can be a large monster they want to tackle, but don't know how. Now when a company asks me "What should we do with pintrest?" I have a fuller answer for them. It's easy to say its a nitche market; it's easy to say you shouldn't be on pintrest, your follows need to pin you to pintrest; but now my answer can also have an active element - "if you want to be on pintrest, use it to be a tool within your company and pin relevant topics for that person."

As with all social media tools, you have to look at pintrest through the eyes of what can it do for you personally/how can this online application make my life easier than how to use it as a sale tool. 

Then again, I get to pin ideas for events and food and designing. That already makes pintrest for me much more fun and a lot less about selling toothpaste.