Wednesday, February 09, 2011

an invitation for an almost four-year-old

I recently set some time aside to make invitations for my daughter Adelaide's upcoming birthday party. I've actually not been in much of a party mood, and for a time I was kind of hoping that I could slip this one by her - but no luck! Addie has been chattering on and on and on about her birthday for months now, and so I finally realised that I need to just get it together and plan something special for her.

So, I was feeling rather blank and kept waiting for the elusive inspiration to come! Finally, one afternoon Addie made a random little comment: she said that she wanted to "make flags for all of her friends". And I finally had ideas, with which I made a loose sketches to keep for later.

When I had some time, I went through my bin of fabric and paper scraps and selected out many appealing bits (Adelaide helped with this). Using my sharpest scissors and an exacto knife, I cut out lots of triangles and other shapes, and with them made my composition. I then scanned them into photoshop, where I cleaned up my image and decided what was missing, and scanned and added accordingly.

When satisfied with my image, I saved my file into a .tif and placed it in Illustrator. I do this because I despise working with typography in Photoshop, Illustrator is much better for this kind of work. There I then added the copy, going back to slightly tweak the background image in Photoshop a couple of times until it worked out best for the space. The typeface I used is from the Neutraface family, a font which I adore!

One completed, I printed them out onto heavy watercolour paper using my (Epson Stylus Photo 1400) desktop printer, trimmed them down using a sharp new xacto blade and metal ruler on a cutting mat, and rounded the corners using my corner rounder. Ready to go!

In this age of evites and emails, invitations seem almost redundant, but I love the idea of having made an invitation for my daughter each year, collecting them up just for her. My goal, eventually, is to frame them up all together, year by year, for her to keep for always.

This is my gift to her.

31 comments:

Lorenza said...

What gorgeous cards!! Your creativity is always enchanting :D x

em said...

I think I have every birthday invite of your saved...they've all been amazing!

happyowlglass said...

These are so beautiful. It reminds me that my own little girl will be four this year as well. Time flies.

Rose said...

I love doing paper invitations, too. They seem so much more special! Your invites are really adorable. And how is it that no matter how hard we try to slip quietly past a birthday, they have to pop up and remind us that it's their special day?

Janee Lookerse said...

oh. wow. those are fantastic! can you make me some for my birthday!?!? hahaha. i LOVE them!

ps my husband is a typographer and he will be thrilled that someone else knows that photoshop sucks for typesetting!

xoxo
Janee
yellowbirdyellowbeard.blogspot.com

Megan said...

LOL, I love this. I was thinking of you yesterday when I thought to myself "It's February and Addie is having her birthday...I wonder if there will be a post about her invitation this year!?" I was looking through my blog reader at the time and saw your blog title; which is what reminded me. Love the design you did this year!

April said...

Oh, I'm so glad you posted again! Your blog is one of my favorites because the mood is so sweet, yet the design so inspiring. And your little girl is beyond adorable. I've been missing you guys!

As I was reading how you put this card together, I was hoping you were collecting them each year for her. So glad to read that you are. :)

milk tea + polkadots said...

Cute card! I've never thought of scanning fabric (or anything for that matter) to incorporate in a card. That's so clever! I'm going to have to keep that in mind. I also have an Epson Stylus Photo 1400. It's amazingly well...esp for the money! Wow, that corner rounder looks awesome too. I may have to invest in one of those...

rahel said...

Wonderful invitations! Just perfect.

Katy said...

These are just beautiful. Can't beat a good invitation! Glad to hear you're ok and happy.

ARCO CHAMBER ORCHESTRA said...

You are an incredible mother!

JenLynn said...

These invitations are great. I like the personalization of them being hand-made.

I'm also diving into graphic design so hearing your process is fantastic (and helpful).

jodi said...

absolutely beautiful.

| MapleDip | said...

I do the same for my son. Or is it for me? They are such fun to make. I think later in life when he has an entire set for each year of his birthday, he will appreciate them.

Jo said...

You make such lovely cards for your daughter! I love the tags and invitations you do - such detail and effort and it makes the finished item so gorgeous!

Anna-Katrin said...

How sweet! My daughter will be turning 3 soon and as I responded to another FB invite from one of her friends I wondered if I was being silly to carefully craft her paper invitations these last three years. Thank you for reassuring me there is someone else out there who thinks it will be worth it to have them all saved for her to look back on someday!

nichole said...

I love these!

Erica said...

Your work is always so inspiring. Now I'm psyched to make 3yr cards for my daughter :)

Anna said...

Another beautiful invitation... I get excited every year for Adelaide's birthday because we get to see what you've created again. They are always lovely.

I hope your little girl has a very special day!

Krista Pfeiffer said...

Beautiful! I, too, make and save birthday party invitations (and even have two homemade birth announcements framed). I envy your technological savvy and equipment. I do mine by hand. With two kids with birthdays a month apart, they're getting tricky. Thanks for sharing!

Brooke Reynolds said...

I love the idea of framing them all as a set.. wish I had had the foresight to think of that years ago! Lovely, as usual!

doris said...

I love the idea of keeping them and framing them for your DD.
I have been inspired by you for the last two bdays for my DD and I too have been designing my own cards. What a great idea to frame them

Erin said...

Beautiful invites! I LOVE the idea of framing them for her. I'm sure she will treasure these.

Darvon Recall said...

Wonderful cards! Framing the invitations is a very nice idea. you are very creative.
Darvon Recall

Haylee said...

I LOVE these. Seriously they turned out so great.

Anonymous said...

I am a little late. I love seeing the beautiful things you and your little one create. I hope you won't mind if I borrow your ideas for her party for my little one. I am sure that my limited abilities won't do them justice. Thank you for sharing, Kati

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