Sunday, August 2, 2015

5 Free Hand Lettering Tutorials

Clearly I'm in need of a tutorial, because this handwriting isn't cutting it.

I'm not actually sure how I ended up searching Pinterest for hand lettering tutorials last night, but I guess that can be said for pretty much any search online, right?  As you can see from the picture above, I never realized there was a technique to it.  I always assumed scrapbookers/ art journalers I saw online just had really nice handwriting!  Since I've always been plagued with pretty terrible handwriting, I thought I'd give some of these techniques a try and see what I can come up with.

The first hand lettering tutorial is some helpful encouragement from Elsie at A Beautiful Mess, who says the key to good results is practice, practice, practice.  She talks about her favorite pens and brushes, and you'll see as she fills a few pages with letters that she still makes mistakes.  I think it's awesome that she left that in the video, because so much of what's online is edited to be flawless. 

The next tutorial is from Caroline at Made Vibrant and there's also an e-course available with more in-depth information.  Like Elsie, Caroline recommends lots of practice imitating lettering you like in books and really studying all the type and lettering you see around you.

Gemma and Geneva from A Pair and a Spare have a more technical tutorial with paper and tool recommendations, as well as how to pencil in some guidelines to help give your lettering some consistency until you get the hang of it.

If you're looking for a giant list of tips and tutorials on hand lettering, Letter Shoppe has put together a list of 50, guaranteed to keep you busy.  There are posts and videos on tools, typography lessons, tech,and more.

Once you've gotten your hand lettering down, Hello Brio has a very detailed tutorial on how to digitize your letters using Illustrator's Image Trace feature.  

Have you found some really good hand lettering tips and tricks on Pinterest?  Leave them in the comments below!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

5 Outfits to unleash your inner Kathleen Hanna

*This post contains sponsored links from Modcloth.  All text and opinions are my own*

The whole 90's revival has been going strong for a couple of years already and is showing no signs of slowing down, which is probably because the 90's were awesome.  So much of the clothing out there right now is still hooked on grunge (not that I'm complaining, since I'll probably be wearing flannel and my Docs till the day I die), but if you're looking for a different style icon, look no further than Kathleen Hanna.  

If you were into Riot Grrrl or read Sassy Magazine, you already know Kathleen from Bikini Kill or Le Tigre.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out the documentary The Punk Singer (also currently streaming on Netflix), which is about her life and feminist activism,  her super cute marriage to Ad Rock from Beastie Boys, and her struggle with Lyme disease.  Oh and you'll get a close up look at her great sense of style, which ranges from punk to preppy to vintage.

Here are some of my favorite Kathleen Hanna looks from throughout the years, and some similar looks from Modcloth (and one from Etsy).

I LOVE this colorful feminist statement sweater so much.  The colors, the lettering, everything is just perfect.  According to Kathleen's website, the original was made by Jim Drain and Elyse Allen, but I found a shop called Ufer on Etsy that will custom knit one for you!

kathleen hanna feminist sweater

Handknit Feminist Sweater by Ufer

The next outfit is what I think of when I think of Kathleen when she was in Bikini Kill.  The speedo dude on a dress is a pretty hard look to pull off in everyday life, so I think this hilarious David Hasselhoff shirt from Modcloth is a better bet for working into your wardrobe.  Get ready for people to ask you if you like The Hoff. Or Baywatch.  Or talking cars.

I'll Baywatching You shirt by Modcloth

Kathleen's bird print shirt is cute and casual with a little bit of a vintage vibe.  Get the look with the draped neck Try Out Your Wings blouse from Modcloth.

Try Out Your Wings top by Modcloth

Kathleen looks adorable in this floral vintage style dress.  The bold pattern on the Day After Day dress from Modcloth will ensure you stand out in a crowd.  Pair it with flats, clogs, or Doc Martens depending on your mood.

Day After Day Dress in Sketched Garden by Modcloth

Kathleen's gold printed tiger dress is perfect for commanding the stage.  Get a similar feel with the Tusk Till Dawn top from Modcloth.  Pair it with skinny jeans and red flats or Docs.

Tusk Till Dawn top by Modcloth

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a commission.  All opinions and text are my own*

Saturday, July 4, 2015

New project on the needles: Uptown/ Downtown V-Neck Tee

For the longest time, I've had this pretty Pool colorway from Fable Fibers* burning a hole in my stash.  I tried to knit it up into a couple different things, but I kept choosing projects where the stitch pattern was competing with the color variation.  This cute little seed stitch v-neck tee from a 2008 issue of knit.1 seemed like it might be the right mix of texture and simplicity to work well with this colorway and so far so good.  


And yes, you read that right - 2008.  One of my non-knitting friends mentioned to me once that she'd never heard of someone keeping magazines before.  Is it just me?  Do you keep your knitting magazines forever or do you throw them away?  For me, it's the equivalent of those books you read over and over (one of mine is The Bell Jar- I've been known to find it packed away in the closet, and then proceed to sit and read the entire thing in the doorway of said closet.  But I digress.  Again.).  Oh, and I also have all of my Sassy magazines, which I will keep probably until the day I die.  I swear I'm not a hoarder.  

Anyway, so far I'm liking the way this is turning out.  Despite the very specific instructions, and already knowing to do so, I totally knit the first 6 inches WITHOUT alternating skeins, obviously.  Hello, pooling!  I try to avoid finishing as much as I possibly can, which includes weaving in lots of ends from joining skeins. I bit the bullet and and joined the skein with the least amount of variation and now I'm alternating every 2 rows.  Looks good, no?

*You may notice that I mention Fable Fibers on here a lot. That's because the brains behind FF, Lelah, is one of my oldest and closest friends in the world.  We met while working as baristas at Starbucks a million sixteen years ago, fell out of touch for a few years, and then were reunited through our knitting blogs <3

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sometimes life gets too hectic to create

So I've gotten some emails from you guys wondering where I've been hiding out (thank you SO MUCH for these, btw) and it's nothing super exciting.  I've been pulled in a bunch of different directions and it has honestly left me with very little time to create.  One of the big problems, if you can really call it a problem, is that I started working out three months ago.  On one hand, I feel great, but on the other hand, it has cured me of my insomnia and so I'm no longer up half the night making stuff.  

The other thing I'm struggling with, as many crafters are, is just trying to do too many projects at the same time.  I'm trying to knit stuff because knitting is my first love, learn a bunch of new crafty things, and I just got a new Silhouette cutting machine that I'm getting the hang of.

I have a couple pictures to share since the last time I posted (yes, they were on on my FB and Instagram accounts, so my apologies if you've seen them already):

March(?) - I finished up Stefanie Japel's Boyfriend cardi:

cobberson japel boyfriend cardi
My friend asked me why I look so mad in this picture.  It's because I dropped
 the  phone about five times trying to take this - selfies are hard, apparently.  

This was a super fast, very fun knit, but the only part where I got into trouble is when I connected the button band to the rest of the body.  If you've ever made a top down raglan before, you know that the top of the front sections my the shoulders tend to not come down in a perfect V, there's a little corner that sticks out.  I couldn't pick up the button band stitches in a way that eliminated that corner, so there is a little bulge there and it just won't lay flat.  Not a huge deal, but definitely something I'll try to avoid in the future.

April - I've been getting a little time in here and there for embroidery, but to tell you the truth, I'm not sure I really have the patience for it.  It does look so cool, but I'm soooo slow. And I keep losing my needle threaders...

cobberson sleater kinney modern girl embroidery
*Lyrics taken from Sleater Kinney's Modern Girl

I'll finish the last letter and a half eventually :)

May - I finally unpacked my new Silhouette Cameo, and made a few stencils.  This thing definitely has a steep learning curve.  If you are wondering why I haven't cranked out a ton of stencils (or anything else yet), let me tell you about what happened the first weekend it was out of the box.

So I unpacked the machine and went through what I thought was the whole set up process - installing the drivers, installing the software, registering the machine, etc.  It's all set to go, and I decide to go to sleep and pick it up the next day by cutting my first project. 

I get up, go right over to the machine and I'm so excited to get started.  It's not working.  The touch screen on the Cameo just says, "working,"even though it's not, and appears totally frozen.  I google the problem and it seems to be the drivers.  I update the drivers and the software and it's still stuck.  I shut down the machine, the computer, unplug everything and restart a bunch of times.  Nothing.  

I am freaking out at this point because this is not a cheap machine, and I am having anxiety about calling customer service because we've all had those nightmare call center situations.  I had no other options, so I try the chat window on Silhouette's site.  The rep emailed me a list of instructions and said try this, and if it doesn't work, let me know.  I go through the instructions, which had to do with resetting the ports on the computer, and it still doesn't work.  So the rep calls me within about 10 minutes and we try everything to fix this issue.  

It turns out that the problem is that when I unplugged the Cameo from the wall, I didn't unplug the adapter cord from the machine itself.  There must've been a little juice left in the cord, just enough to prevent the machine from resetting.  Once I plugged both ends of the adapter back in, the touch screen was back to normal and I was ready to go.  

Seriously, I have never received such great service from any company, and this was on a Saturday afternoon.  The rep stayed with me on the phone for about 45 minutes and was determined to fix the problem right then and there.  And she was super nice!

Anyway, once I was up and running, I started experimenting with cutting stencil film.  I made every possible error before I got a good cut.  I had the blade turned up too little and it didn't cut the film at all or even touch it.  I had the blade turned up too much and CUT THROUGH THE MAT.  Ugh.  Then I had the stencil film upside down so the words were all backwards.  There were a bunch more.

Finally I ended up with a decent cut and stenciled my first shirt:

cobberson knitter grrrl

Looking pretty good!

So that's pretty much it.  What are you guys working on this month?

*There are some affiliate links in this post, but I did NOT receive anything gratis.  All opinions are my own, and the links are all for stuff I bought and loved*

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Happy Galentine's Day, you noble DIYer! + Free Printable

The best of BFFs

If you still need to wrap some Galentine's Day gifts for your besties, I've got you covered.  Here are some free printable gift tags with 8 of the best Leslie Knope compliments you can give your girlfriends.  Just click on the link below the image to download the PDFs from Google Drive.  Tags are for personal, non-commercial use only.


Galentine's Day gift tags (set #1)

Galentine's Day gift tags (set #2)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Free Printable: 5x5 All You Need is Love

I'm guest blogging again this week over at Blissful and Domestic, and sharing a new 5x5 print for Valentine's Day!  Come check it out <3

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Free Printable: Christmas quote

Cobberson & Co for Blissful and Domestic - free christmas printable

Last week I was a guest blogger for the lovely Danielle over at Blissful and Domestic and shared a free 8x10 Christmas print.  Check out my post on her blog, and download your print for a little last minute holiday decor!

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