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it’s Tuesday, which means a bit of typography is in order. unfortunately, today is going to be a bit selfish—i’m working on a personal logo for my freelance identity, if you will. i think i’ve got a name nailed down, which i’ll leave a mystery for now, and i’m currently trying to polish up the type here. i fell in love with the font verna from MyFonts.com for its alternative letters and ligatures. now, i just need to decide between these two treatments for the same word (the second word is the same in both).

just as a note in case you’re like me and prone to get hung up on certain details—the colors aren’t final nor are they an indication of where i’m leaning in terms of color at all. i just didn’t feel like black & white today. it’s been one of those days, i guess.

any influencing my decision is totally welcome!

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i’m only posting photos of my kid(s) at the moment. is that sad? i’m not sure. i don’t mean to be stuck here, but for the moment … i am. i could apologize, but i don’t know if there’s anything i need to say i’m sorry for. i’m busy. things are percolating here. happening.

slowly, but surely.

not as fast as watching Elisha grow and change every day, but i’m at work shaping my (our) future with each new morning as well.

i feel as though i’ve been stuck in a mire of discouragement. i’ve been down a bit and intimidated by the thought of breaking loose and going freelance (once again). i always wander my way back here. back here to fear. i hate it, and this time (maybe more than all the other times), i’m trying my hardest to fight against it.

i’ve accepted that my (our) plans are unconventional.

i like being unconventional.

more importantly, however, is that i’ve accepted that my (our) plans are possible.

yes.

it’s so going to happen.

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sorry, blog, but i’ve felt a little distracted since sometime last week. a little unfocused. a little wobbly on my blogging feet. i thought i had a sense of purpose. i mean, i still think i do. i just feel like i dropped it. or put it down somewhere. and then forgot where it was.

it was around here somewhere and then i got distracted doing something else. like chasing the baby. like cooking. like laundry. like sleep.

or, it was around here somewhere and then it slipped from my fingers. shattering on the ground. into a million little pieces. each of them interesting on their own, but no longer together. a whole. cohesive.

i remember the shape of everything. i see it still.

but right now, it’s all not where it’s supposed to be. blurry.

it’s hard to be a mom. i mean, i knew it would be. i just didn’t think i’d feel so pulled in so many directions. i thought i’d be able to handle it all—from working full time to balancing my home. i thought i could totally do this. do it. all of it. just like i’ve done everything else. but. i can’t. i’m feeling lopsided. deflated. overwhelmed. i had inspiration and direction and ideas and motivation and it’s all drained out of me like sidewalk chalk in the rain.

i hate being able to see far away and yet so close at the same time. so close to what i want, so close to the baby, so close to making big changes … and yet so far away from where i feel i should be, so far away from having it together, so far away from taking that first step.

ugh.

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tara from scoutiegirl asked her readers for this week’s we scout wednesday why we all choose to DIY. in light of our convenience-based, disposable culture, there are so many reasons why i choose to do things myself and buy handmade where i can. i will admit, i’m not perfect—there are plenty of things in my house that are (for the moment) not handmade and not made by me. however, making changes is a process, and a process i enjoy.

i love to make things. i’ve been drawing since i could hold a crayon. i’ve been building things, putting things together, taking things apart, figuring them out all my life. i love the work. i love learning. i love the result.

01-26 baby mobile

finished mobile

snowed-in sewing weekend

i didn’t always know how to sew. i didn’t always know how to bake. i didn’t always know how to write HTML/CSS. i didn’t always know Photoshop like the back of my hand.

i’m a hands-on person. in general, i tend to approach life hands first, though i’ll admit that doesn’t always go in my favor.

when it comes to doing things myself, from crafting to graphic design, i enjoy the creative process. that’s the challenge, the fun. it keeps me going. that spark of inspiration that turns into a baby mobile, a series of prints, a website, a drawing, a card, or a freshly baked loaf of bread.

02-28 almost done

i make things when i can because i believe i’m called to live a life that’s counter culture. i’m to be in the world, but not of it. i’m to respect the resources i’ve been given—my planet as well as my money, my neighbor as well as myself.

1 corinthians 13 prints

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there are some really great sites devoted to typographic theory on the web as well as in print. some sites address one over the other or both, but all of them are also great places to see examples of well-used typography:

five simple steps to better typography by mark bouillon, whose entire five-step guide is a good read:

type theory is a well-designed site with lots of great type resources:

five simple ways to improve web typography by webdesigner depot, which is an all-around nice resource for web design, not just typography.

12 examples of paragraph technology by jon tan, who always has great links and interesting articles.

i love typography is, obviously, for people like me.

typographic offers reviews of both type and books, interviews designers, and has its own foundry.

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Drop Cap Page

drop caps

drop caps: those giant, sometimes fancy letters that come at the beginning of paragraphs (think medieval literature and art history textbooks). still in use today, even on the web, drop caps are easily programmable using CSS or jquery.

recently (or not so recently depending on your view of internet time), Jessica Hische made drop caps famous with her lovely, free-to-use daily drop caps. gorgeous examples include:

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balance by hickoree, on Flickr

balance by hickoree, on Flickr

i wish this post could be something amazing and beautiful about how i’ve found balance in my life between a mother, a wife, and a designer. unfortunately, i’m not there yet. some days, i feel like i’ll never be there. today is one of those days … and, no, it’s not just because it’s monday.

well, maybe just a little.

anyway. in my mind, i can picture my goal. it’s all laid out before me, and i can easily visualize the path i want my life to be traveling upon. close my eyes and i see it. open them, and i don’t always feel confident i can ever achieve it:

i’d like to be designing for myself, from my house, with our kid(s).

and i want this before we even begin seriously considering smith baby #2.

that’s it. that’s my dream in a nutshell. sure, there’s a few loose ends—making a desk space for myself upstairs in the spare room/nursery, finding hubby a job he loves and gets paid for, affording insurance, quitting my current job once i have enough work to go freelance, etc. those are all complicated things that at once excite me and terrify me at the same time.

so, i’m still standing on the shore, barely getting my toes wet. my life feels out of balance. with a baby in the house, all of my maternal instinct pines for me to be at home (sometimes, so does my husband. he does an amazing job with the baby, but i think we both know some things are just better when Eli has me around). with Justin in school, the burden of income for our little family currently falls on me. both are heavy burdens to bear.

with that said, however, i don’t want to make the impression that we don’t have a decent system going at home. we mostly do. it can get wonky at times. life still feels ungainly and weird, but we’re not hating it. we just both know it’s not where we want to be, even if God has us stuck here for now.

i know it can change.

i know it will change.

i know it will happen as soon as i can.

how do you (or did you) find balance in your life? share your experience and give me some inspiration! i’d love to hear it.

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