The Pearly Story Behind "Dusting in Pearls"

I always feel like a walking paradox. I can get out in the garden with my shovel and sledgehammer and love every dusty dirty minute I'm out there. I spend the majority of my life dressed in my "grubbies". Yet there's a part of me deep down inside that still likes "the frillies", "the pearlies", and "the sparklies"--all the pretty things. Maybe it's all the great classic Hollywood movies I watched as a kid. I don't know. All I know is that I can be dirty and sweaty and still want to put on heels when it isn't practical; buy the prettiest apron even if it will get dirty; and don pearls when all I'm going to be doing is dusting and vacuuming the house. It doesn't make sense. It doesn't have to. I've decided to claim it, celebrate it, and have fun with it... and create some "pearly" goodness along the way.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Behind the Scenes: The Beaded Chick

The past couple of weeks, I've had the immense pleasure of doing a design job for Kimberly over at The Beaded Chick. She contacted me after seeing my work at the Rosehaven Cottage Digital Download Shop. She needed a custom-designed logo for her sterling silver and Swarovski crystal jewelry business and wondered if I could create one for her.

Since Kimberly and I live on separate coasts of the U.S., all our communications were via email (and Flickr). Kimberly gave me a wonderful description of what her vision for the logo was. My job was to interpret it into a little chick that she would love. So the first thing I needed to do was some pencil sketching. This is the pencil sketch that I started out with...

I scanned the pencil sketch into the computer and opened it in Adobe Illustrator CS3 to do the "inking" (back in school I really used pen and ink for this step). I use Illustrator because it will create a vector graphic that will resize to any size without losing quality (no pixelated and jagged edges). I like to used a brush set on "charcoal" at various stroke widths to get the art marker look I like.

After the initial pencil sketch, Kimberly communicated an additional piece of her vision--that the little chick would be wearing a ring and a bracelet. So with those additions, the finished "inking" ended up looking like this...

Then it was time to add some color. At this point, I switched over to Adobe Photoshop CS3 and placed the image into a Photoshop document (Illustrator files are compatible with Photoshop). Then I started creating layer after layer of color by "drawing" the color on using my digital tablet and a stylus. Every time I changed colors, I made a new layer (in case I wanted to make any adjustments along the way). The "inking" layer always stayed as the top layer over the colors. Doing this part is always a lot of fun and feels like coloring in a coloring book to me.

When I was done, I had this...

Once I had the little chick completed, I was also able to design Kimberly's blog header for her. Kimberly hadn't settled on any font type yet, so I hunted around over at to find a free font that would convey a jeweled or beaded quality. I found Razzle Dazzle and knew it was the perfect fit! I already had MA Sexy for the pretty hot pink cursive writing. Using Kimberly's blog template as a color guide, I built the header to match her beautiful color palette. And this is what the finished header looks like...

Hubby loves the little "Beaded Chick". And I have to humbly admit that I do too and it's all because of Kimberly vision. Thank you, Kimberly, for this wonderful opportunity to create her for you! I am excited to see her write about her own creative journey on "The Beaded Chick" blog.

All bold words in this post are click-able links


The Beaded Chick said...

Hi, Cindy!!

I just wanted to stop by and tell you what a FANTASTIC job you did on my little chick. She is exactly what I had envisioned.. sassy & cute! I was so worried that I would not be able to find someone that could take my vision and bring it to life. I am so glad I found you and I wish all the best for you!

The Beaded Chick

Joanie said...

Cindy, Congrats! You did a fantastic jog on this. As I've said before... I love this behind the scenes!
Love you,

IMPORTANT "PEARLY" NOTE: If you are using Internet Explorer, you aren't having the most beautiful "pearly" experience that you could have if you were viewing this site with Mozilla Firefox for the PC or Firefox for the Mac which is available for FREE download at the above links.