Saturday, October 5, 2013


One of my classes this semester is Typography. If you are a lover of fonts and type then you probably realize that there is so many different reactions to type and color and placement. This class is really challenging me.  Our first assignment was to design expressive words.

Basically the goal was to illustrate a word with very little editing of the type. We could only use shades of black and white. We learned about the history of different fonts and why they are the way they are, so that knowledge helped pick the right font to start the design.

It was so hard coming up with a good word.  My first few were horrible. I was trying to make a picture with the type, sometimes that works, but the goal was for the letters to speak for themselves.  So I tossed those ideas and started over.

In the end I was really happy with what I turned in.  Here are a few of the pieces I did:

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Just school year.

My kids started school right after Labor Day. I admit, I'm one of these parents that look forward to school starting. I like the routine. I like structure. I like a little quiet during the day.

I thought I was ready, but I'm really struggling. I'm overwhelmed with the "new" routine.

My oldest started Middle School. The amount of work and organization that he needs is so much more than he (or me) is use to having. We were warned about the increase but until you are in the middle of it, it's hard to get a grip on it.

My middle boy is starting what we call the nightmare homework year in Elementary School. Again, I've been through this with my first child, but this is a different kid.  He has a different way of doing things, so we have to prepare differently for this year.

Finally my youngest, he is starting third grade. The year that they try to teach the kids to be more responsible for themselves. So I need to try to let him take care of what he needs, and if necessary let him fail on his own to learn.

I'm just overwhelmed with what, as a parent, I need to do. I'm just taking one issue at a time and trying to figure out the best way to solve the problem for our family. Right now the big problem is dinner time. With all the sports and activities we are either rushing to eat or eating really late. I'm going to have have dinner really early and get the old crock pot out.

Do you have any tips on getting dinner to the table on a business day?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Wisdom from a 10 year old.

During a dinner conversation one night, we were trying to encourage our youngest child to learn to ride his bike without training wheels.  

He was afraid of falling, which is natural.

We kept telling him that sometime you have to fall down to learn. That everything takes practice to become good at it. Then I said Failure leads to Success, because I had just read that somewhere.

My oldest looked at me and very seriously said "not if you are skydiving".

I have to admit, this is very true.

It reminded me of those anti-motivational posters that I've seen and it still makes me laugh.

Friday, August 23, 2013

My go to inspiration....

Harry Potter!

I can always find something inspiring to create when I think of these stories.  I've been working on getting to know Illustrator better and took a class at SkillShare called Basic Geometric Shapes. The goal was to create badges using only Geometric shapes and the tools in Illustrator.

I struggled with what type of badges to make and then I thought about Harry Potter. I thought about Diagon Alley and all the shops.  These shops might need some banners to advertise, so I started making some sketches and going to work.

These were so fun to create and it's amazing what you can make with basic shapes and the pathfinder tools in Illustrator. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Back to School for Mommy

It's back to school time around here.

I've always (mostly) enjoyed school. If I could I would go all my life. There are so many things I don't know that I want to know and not enough time.

So this time of year is always exciting for me. I started my new classes on Tuesday and both of them sound like they will be fun and challenging. I have a wonderful instructor (the same one for both classes). He is someone I respect and value his opinion greatly. I know I will learn a great deal this semester.

As for my kids, they go back to school after labor day. I think they are a little excited but very nervous at the same time.

My oldest starts middle school this year. Big changes. He's not big on the unknown and gets nervous. We went yesterday to get his schedule, locker and turn in all the forms. It's was crazy but we got done in about an hour. He doesn't know if any of his friends are in the same classes and he is very quiet and shy so it takes him  awhile to make new friends. I'm sure after a week he will feel better and more confident. I just wish I knew how to help him relax and just enjoy the ride.

I'm nervous too. This is the largest group of 7th graders our school ever had, over 420 kids, just in 7th grade.  I think my graduating class was only about 550. I'm trying not to let my anxiety show but it's hard. I'm also excited for him. I met my best friends, that I still see, in Junior High.

As for my other two, we will find out their teachers next week and see who will be in their classrooms.  They are excited to see the list but they are not happy about the "school rules" that will be happen in our house soon. (i.e. no video games M-Th, early bed time)

Now mom just needs to finish the school shopping and start planning lunches and then maybe I can relax for a little bit.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Designing for Fun

I took a fun online class at SkillShare over the summer that challenged you to create 20 little icons that represented a Day in your Life.

It was hard breaking my day down to just 20 items and as my husband noted he was missing from the icons.  In my defense, he was traveling at the time but I should have included an icon of us talking on the phone.

I'm thinking of using these icons to create a Day in the Life page for my scrapbooks.  I think it would be interesting to get a photo of each item or even just find photos I've already taking representing these items.

If you would like to use some icons in your projects, check out The Noun Project. It's a collect of icons that various people created, many are free to download.

Friday, August 16, 2013


I recently started saying affirmations to myself almost every morning. I've always read about the power of positive talk when trying to change and I thought I would give it a try.

I can be pretty pessimistic about things and I get frustrated with myself when I look on the dark side of life. So I thought one way to combat this is to talk nicer to myself.

Every morning for the past month, I've been looking myself in the eye and saying out loud "You are beautiful. You are creative. You are worthy of love." This might seem strange but these are the areas I tend to struggle with when I'm feeling down.

The results: On the days that I've done this I seem to have a more positive attitude.

I'm still a pessimist, but when I start my day in a positive way I tend to be happier. I'm going to keep working at it because I noticed as time goes on I believe the words, not just say them.

Do you have any affirmations?  If not, here's my affirmation for you.

Hand Lettering by Monica Bergler

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Travel the World

I signed up for Ali Edwards Hello Story class over at Big Picture Classes. I told myself I was NOT going to sign up for any classes this year. I'm too busy and I still have so many classes that I haven't finished.

But this was Ali!

I love Ali. I love her style. I love her stories. And I love that she makes me think of stories that I might not have thought important enough to document.

When I signed up I knew I would not keep up, but that I would work at my own pace and do at least one layout for each week of the 12 week class.

The first week was based on time lines and using them to document a story.  I love any type of graph so this really interest me. After watching her videos and letting the idea sit for a week or two, I had an idea to document the places I've been. This probably happened because I was working on a vacation album.

I went to my Lightroom catalog and looked at all the vacation I have key worded and that gave me a good starting point. Then I brainstormed by myself to get most of my childhood travels and then my lovely Husband helped fill in more times and dates - he has a great memory for dates.

I was shocked by my list. I didn't really realize how well traveled I was until I saw it all in one place.  Here is the layout that I ended up doing documenting my travels.

I would love to do one for my Husband. He travels quite a bit for work so I would need to do a world map for him. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

New Discovery

Have you heard of Minted?

It's an amazing website where you can order cards, stationary, calendars, artwork and many other beautiful things. The cool thing is that everything on the website is made by independent designers and the only things on there are designs that have been voting on the site.

I just discovered them about a month ago.  I was looking for a place that I could design things and maybe make some money in the process.

How the site works is they put out design challenges for something, like a calendar. You make your design base on their rules and submit it. Once the challenge is over all the designs are voted on by the community. The winners win a cash prize and their design is put into the store so others can order the product.

The eye candy in their store is amazing! The designs are varied but of high quality.

If you come to my blog to read this, you will notice on my sidebar that I've been designing for some of the challenges.  If you are reading this on a reader here is what the sidebar looks like with one of the stationary I designed recently:

If you like what you see please go to Minted and vote for one of my designs. Or just go there and have a look around, you will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Taking the first step is always the hardest.

One of my first hand lettering projects

It was three years ago that I found the courage to go back to school.  I had been thinking about it for a few years but was always listened to that voice that told me I wasn't talented enough or young enough or good enough to go to school for a design degree.

My heart kept encouraging me and I finally listened to it and enrolled.

Walking into that classroom the first few times was difficult.  I had at least 20 years on all the students and those voices were talking very loud. Your too old! Your not cool! You can not compete with these kids! Who are you kidding!

As time went on and I kept going to class and then signing up for the next class I noticed something. That voice, it changed. Sometimes it's not being positive, but most of the time it's encouraging me. Your good! Your in the right place! No one can stop you!

It a wonderful feeling to know your in the right place. I spent years going to college and working in a field that I was good at, but I did not enjoy. Now I look forward to going to my classes and working on the projects.  I'm always thinking about what I can make or what I want to learn. It's an exciting feeling, to be where your heart desires.
I still have at least a year before I get my associates degree, but I've been hard at work getting my portfolio together so when the right opportunity comes along I will be ready.

Is there something that your heart desires? What is holding you back?