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180: Thirty-One Things and an Explanation

February 8, 2014

Here’s something to look at while I delve into the reasons I was gone:

31 things for a birthday

This was a postcard I sent to my brother-in-law on his 31st birthday a couple months ago. But I don’t think he ever got it, because we just stuck a stamp on the other side of this foam-core board. I think the Post Office didn’t like that. So, I’m putting it here for everyone’s viewing.

It was an effort to pick 31 nouns that had seemingly nothing in common with each other. Click it to really see all the details. The idea was probably more inspired by my friend Susanna Ryan than I care to admit, which I didn’t realize until much later. And, her organizational skills are far better than mine.


While you look at that, I’ll just be down here telling a story about my recent absence.
[Edit: apparently it was a long story.] Read more…

179: New York Yankees Pillow

January 27, 2014

Hey everyone. I made this pillow for my brother for Christmas.


I haven’t blogged in so long that I kind of forgot about taking pictures of the progress, so I just have the one photo.

But I have gotten a few questions about how I made the pillow, so… here’s what I did (animated GIF style). First, I looked up the image to use:


Then I roughly drew it out actual-size on a big piece of paper (which I made out of 4 pieces of printer paper taped together).


I think the actual insignia would be too skinny for a pillow, so I beefed it up a bit as I drew it. When I was finished, I had a nice pattern to trace onto some fabric. Read more…

178: Which way?

September 7, 2013

Here’s a street sign ambigram:

that way

It started out as a simple idea and got more complex as I went along, until I had this GIF. (It says “that way” if you can’t tell, but I hope you can.)


Speaking of GIFs, here’s something that just occurred to me:


See you next week.

177: Birthday Cards

August 31, 2013

Nothing huge or clever to show this week. Just a little something I’m kind of proud of.

Megan’s out of town this weekend visiting family, but before she left, she needed to get a couple birthday cards. So, I grabbed an old marker set and some card stock and made these for her mom and grandma.

(As a side note, good job Pentel markers! There is no way an at least 12-year old set of markers at the bottom of an art supply box should still be usable, but yours was just fine.)

birthday cards-4

Her mom’s card is pictured above. 61 birthday candles crammed onto the cover. That was fun to draw, but not very fun to count. I’m relatively certain I counted right, but I’m also pretty sure you won’t be able to on your first try.

birthday cards-5

And the inside is pretty simple, but left us room for personal messages.

Next was her grandma’s card, which took an interesting turn. A little backstory here–her grandma is turning 80 and is a champion bowler.

birthday cards-1

So, the imagery worked out beautifully.

birthday cards-2

I always get to sign cards on behalf of both of us because Megan’s handwriting is charmingly awful.

And finally, I always put a fake brand on the back of all my homemade cards. It’s something I’ve done since I was a kid and saw a Hallmark commercial where someone flipped over the card to read the brand. Good job commerial. You made a lasting impression. My “brand” changes pretty much every time I make a card, though. This time I went with “bestcard.” I like it.

birthday cards-3

Happy birthday everyone, and see you next week.

176: Ladybug and Turtle

August 24, 2013

Megan and I were invited to a housewarming/birthday party. About 20 hours before, I still didn’t have a gift, so I went into panic mode and started running around the house looking for the basic elements of creation. In a closet, I found a square of wood that I had already cut and primed to use as a canvas (thanks, past me!).

I know everybody needs art when they move into a new place, so a painting was a perfect idea.

But there was a problem with this plan. I’ve had some moderate creative block, recently. I sat down to paint but couldn’t think of anything to make. So, I asked Megan for a noun, and she said, “Ladybug.” Great! I sketched up something on the computer real quick:


A bit creepy on the bug side in this draft, but I’ll fix that later. The basic idea is there. After that step, the rest of the work went so quickly that I neglected to get any in-process pictures. But I got the finished piece:

Ladybug Turtle-2

Aww. They like each other. Read more…

175: A/V Issues

August 12, 2013


You’ve got to read those labels closely.

I don’t know if I’d return it, though; it’s still nice to have around, just in case.

174: 2-for-1 Birthday Card

August 10, 2013

This last week, my brothers had a birthday.

It may be a bit puzzling, but that last sentence is actually grammatically correct if my brothers are twins, and they are. Because I’m a bad brother, I didn’t have a lot planned, so I went into last minute panic mode. This is what I came up with:

First, I did the bare minimum. I printed a card.


The card makes no sense, but that’s kind of the point. Because, before I printed the card, I did inventory on supplies. As it turns out, I only had one sheet of white cardstock left in the entire house, so my card-printing choices were limited. I could either (1) print a couple very small cards, (2) get creative, or (3) leave the house and buy more paper, and you can be sure I wasn’t going to do #3.

So I got creative. One card per unique DNA seems like a fine rule.


Sliced in two, and each brother is mailed half of a card.

Now the last word on the card, explained: I thought the rest of the card could be easily figured out given just half of each word. “Hap.. Birth… Brot..” OK I get it. So, I threw in a nonsense word at the end to confuse them and ensure they would have to collaborate to figure out the entire message (and then be disappointed that it means nothing. My family is big on giving out disappointment as gifts).

The inside has a nice little message, too.


And yes, that is the second phase of the plan. I also made a video.

After they finally figured out the link, they were rewarded with this tremendously special video:


You’re welcome!


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