Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 Print Design Favourites


Here is a small collection of, as the title image says, some of my print design favourites from 2011. They are all Insights magazine covers or spreads, and only a smidge of what I got up to this year!

This top image is all of the 2011 magazines, minus July, which never went to print because of the postal strike (still not over it, thanks a ton Canada Post).


2012: A New Year

I know, Duh right? I confess, I didn't put too much thought into the message . . . today I was exploring hand-drawn (then vectorized) type. It feels ridiculously good to sit down with a pencil and graph paper!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Narrowing it down

Are you a "goal" person? I sure am NOT. I've never been good at them. People ask me to create goals and I can't come up with anything better than: "work hard and do a good job." I think it relates to my difficulty with decision making, because I just can't commit to a future plan that I "want."

We can argue about the wisdom of making future plans that leave no room for God to move, but I think that my lack of goals is just as bad as having too many! God gave me passions and gifts to USE, and being effective requires some forethought.

I lay awake at night sometimes wondering why I do what I do (don't we all?) and what the future holds for me. I am a sucker for comparison and often beat myself up for not being as good as "so and so" at "such and such." I've always (since elementary school) wondered why I could be so good at so many things but not the best at ANYTHING. My journey through life has led me to realize how selfish and misguided these ideas are. Not only am I choosing to find my value in the opinions of others (and myself!), I am ignoring the incredible value I have in being a child of God, and being ME. Its like when I look at myself all I see is a bunch of little packages that don't amount to much on their own, and fail to see what an amazing package they make bundled up together (like a gift basket)! No wonder I feel too insecure about myself to actually commit to personal goals - I'm always trying to be someone else.

So. Lately I've been working on it. Stripping away the evaluating and comparisons and trying to narrow it back down to ME. What I am good at, what I like, who I am.

  • I love to take photos and learn photography
  • I love to create full-colour design that engages people
  • I love working with type, and designing around a typeface personality
  • I love the crispness of designing for the screen, but even more the crispness of a print piece gone RIGHT
  • I love to DIY and craft! It refreshes me and builds me up. It seems to relate more to people than my design work, which is something not a lot of people can understand in regards to the work I've done
  • I really like creating multiple pieces with a cohesive theme
  • I'd love to connect with more "professional creatives" since I often seem to be on my own 
  • I'd like time to create personal work - its the only way to really discover and refine "my style"
What does this amount to? Someday I'd like to be able to do it all. All at once. To have some kind of work environment that facilitates me being able to pursue and excel at these things I love! And to be confident that these things make me who I am professionally, which is a true reflection of who I am personally. Me, myself, how God made me.

How's that for a personal goal?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fog and frozen fingers

This past weekend I did a secret photo session with some cool people. I don't want to spoil anyone's christmas gifts, so I'm only going to post my nature shots, sans-people. You have to see what kind of GORGEOUS morning we had to work with! I will confess, I've been itching to take some photos in the fog on each of these frozen mornings we've been having on my way to work, and I was quite happy to get my chance :D


It was a dark morning, which was a challenge, but we definitely got some winners! We finished just before my camera got cold enough to call it quits, and I think that can be said of the rest of us as well lol. I'll post the actual shoot someday after christmas... :D

Sunday, November 27, 2011

DIY Wreath

Its almost christmas! and I am definitely getting into the spirit of the season this year. I love the coziness of Christmas - just ask my Hubby, I go on and on about how I love being cozy. Blankets, fireplaces, candles, the smell of a real live Fir tree living in my house...Christmas is cozy!

As always, my DIY project had humble beginnings at a variety of second hand stores. I got the wreath and Styrofoam balls at MCC on two separate shopping trips. I got like 25 of the balls, and used most of them on my tree! I stole two for the wreath though, because they're just cute. I am starting to acquire a nice collection of neutral fabric bits which I used to transform the balls into cuteness!

The bells I got at the dollar store, which always makes me happy. I have a whole bunch hanging on my tree as well.

The star was the most involved part of the process since it involved hand-sewing! But still, it took me a max of 15 minutes to sew around the edges and stuff it with fabric bits.

I attached everything with string so that next year, if I so desire, I can re-use the wreath for an entirely new look! I know, very thrifty of me.

Soo, now all I need to do is have a Christmas party. Where we eat fancy cheese and admire my wreath. Kidding!

Monday, November 21, 2011

one foggy afternoon

I saw it and my heart stopped. Almost. In all honesty I just gasped out loud and started looking for a place to u-turn without killing anybody! I've been pushing myself to take the pictures when I see them - each one I lose is kind of like one less way to express and explore me and my art. And one more way to fuel my dwindling design tanks. So basically - FOG ROCKS.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ahhh fall!

I couldn't resist anymore. I found myself leaving work early last week (I had a photo shoot later that evening) and since I had my gear with me I finally gave in and transformed my commute home into a photo shoot. I always have to fight the negative voices when I decide to stop on the side of the road and maybe trespass a bit to take a photo cus...well I feel silly and like I might get in trouble. But every time I do it I forget all that as soon as I start clicking and its rather freeing.

The evening sunlight, the grey-blue favourite recipe. These aren't earth-shattering, but don't I live in just the most beautiful place?? Glad I caught those autumn colours before the rain threw them all to the ground!

I just may have to give in to "part two" on my way home today, I saw that snow dusting the tops of the mountains yesterday... :D

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

pillow fun

So, I made these pillow cases probably over a month ago (you see how the photos are sunny? Not exactly the weather we've had lately lol...), soon after we came back from "the honeymoon." I had two bare big pillows that I picked up cheap at a garage sale (gross? not when you make your own cases for!) and I wanted to get them covered and on our bare couches! So here they are...not super exciting, but the look great and they're pretty cushy. They make movie-watching better.

I staged them out on our back patio with the planter my mom gave me. The silver plants were planted for our wedding, we used them in our bouquets and had some extras! She spoiled me and gave them the left-overs. So far, they're still alive! Although the flowers have died, but I guess that's what happens when it gets cold...we all start to shrivel! Good thing I've got lots of pillows!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pulling out the paints and giving thanks

Thanksgiving weekend! Its been good. I've had more than my fair of turkey and turkey comas in the past three days, and I'm loving the "recovery day" that today has become. It may be more out of a lack of plans and potential boredom, but ultimately I found myself with a free morning and decided to take advantage of it!

I finally pulled out the paints, and I'm so glad I did. Its good news all around: I feel great for finally letting out a bit of creative energy in a hands-on way, and our basement suite is a little brighter!


This year, this season, I have much to be thankful for. Blessings abound! Can't wait till Christmas... :D lol! 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Wedding Details: Website!

One of my favourite details to work on was our wedding website. I haven't done much web design at all in the last year, especially coding (at work we have a web guy for! He implements all my designs for me). Anyways, I really do love coding, especially the simple stuff (html and css) so I was excited to build our wedding website! I went cheap, because I'm dutch to the core, and hosted it under my own portfolio website (why buy a domain for a temporary website?!).

I had to do some "soul searching" to decide what to include on the site. In the end, I just had fun building it and found it a good way to share our engagement photos and our "love story." It also seemed like a good place to share last minute details in case the weather didn't turn out how we planned...but of course it was a lovely day!

My first draft of the site had "Wednesday, august 8 2011" on the top of oops! I guess I was thinking more about html tags than the actual date of my! thanks to sisters for calling me out on it before I went live! 

Click on the photo to view the site:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wedding Details - Bookmark Favours

Rather than spend money one a party favour that would be consumed in 3 minutes, forgotten on the table, or die in a cupboard (favour tree's anyone? I've killed a few...), we decided to  support the International Justice Mission in the name of our guests. I've seen this done before at weddings I've attended, and each time I've appreciated it a lot. Its a reminder to think beyond ourselves in the middle of all the blessings we have, which are so obvious at weddings! Our wedding verse was Philippians 2:1-4, which includes in part " humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."

We both felt this was a good way to implement what we are committing to founding our marriage on - our faith, and the many ways Jesus calls us to live differently in this life.

I designed bookmarks with this information and put them at each place setting, so our guests still had something to take home. I think they turned out great :)

I printed them on a printer at work, so they were low-res but I keep getting told I'm the only one that can tell. lol!!

Sharalee got a few good photos of how we set them up, wrapped snuggly at each spot:

Friday, September 2, 2011

Wedding Details - Invitations

Finally! The wedding is over, I can breathe, and I can share with you my wedding invitations!

The invitation is a tri-fold accordian design based on the wedding design theme and some of our engagement photos. We got married outside on a farm, and had the reception in a barn, so I wanted the design to have a country feel to it. I didn't want to go all out "country western" though! The finished design was perfect, and I am so happy with how it expressed not only our wedding, but us as well.

Here is the finished piece:

and some more detailed studio shots without the ribbon and twine:

The design could have been done 2-colour on the press, but since I was only printing roughly 150, I printed them digitally at Globe Printers and took advantage of the four-colour process and added a full-colour photo and a creme tint in some of the light areas. Globe is awesome by the way, I work with them regularly at work and highly recommend them.

Hope you like them! As I've mentioned before, I really enjoyed designing the invites and look forward to working with brides in the future on wedding print pieces! Drop me a line if you're interested :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

CD sleeve designs

From time to time I get to design CD sleeves for single Chuck Swindoll sermon messages. Its different than your typical CD sleeve design...for one, its not music. Two, we package them in DVD cases so its not the typical size you'd expect. Lastly, as always, I am working within the design constraints and standards of our own and the US office and don't have as much creative freedom as when working with the Insights Magazine. 

But here are some of my favourite CD's I've designed in the past year! I haven't included any designs based mainly on stock photography (which most of them are unfortunately). But these are illustration-heavy, or my own photography! They are all amazing messages as well, but I think the last one is my favourite.

All are available for purchase at, or by clicking the photo.

(this photo was taken by me: those are my parents wedding clothes!)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

D & L's Wedding Photos!!

The day has come! Our wonderful photographer, Sharalee Prang of Sharalee Prang Photography has finished editing our AMAZING wedding photos and posted them on her blog! Sharalee is fantastic... before the wedding, during the wedding, and after the wedding. The photos are better than I could have imagined, and I think they are going to bring me back to that day every time I look at them! She totally captured the excitement and the vibe of the day, which I think should be the purpose of wedding photos!! I am so grateful that wedding photography has evolved from the posed studio photos they used to be. And grateful beyond words to Sharalee for doing such an amazing job. I can't wait to get the photos and start creating our wedding album!

laura & dwayne: married:


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Published Ad

Since its going to be a while before I get around to blogging about my wedding (which was everything I've ever dreamed of by the way!!) I thought I'd get back into blogging slowly with some photos of an Ad that was recently published. We submitted it over half a year ago and then I forgot all about it. Its nothing mind-blowing, but it did come out really nice! The only slightly weird part is that its a publication for funeral homes, full of ads of recipients worthy of donations and estates. We have a program called "Lifegifts" that allows those who support our ministry to name us in their Will.

Friday, April 29, 2011


You can't escape it on a day like today, and I know a few who are trying! No matter where you go, I have an inkling you'll be hearing the word: wedding. I can't really wrap my mind around why this particular wedding is so exciting to so many people, but for some reason even I am drawn in! I turned on the TV when I woke up, a teensy bit more than mildly curious what her dress would look like. And then I started seeing all those hats, and had to keep watching...and then those nutty crowds decked out in red, white, and blue...and all I can think about is, what does Kate think of her wedding? As a future bride, I'm seriously curious if her wedding is how she always imagined it. I wonder if she's honoured by all the fanfare, or a little bit disappointed that so many details had to be determined by tradition and ceremony. And that she has to share it all with so many people.

Anyways, all this talking and musing about weddings naturally has me thinking about my own! 3 months and 12 days people!!

And now...I've been contemplating whether or not to show these pictures for a few days. I have this thing where I want to keep all my wedding plans to myself...silly, but its just such a special day! Only happens once! (and i mean that) But I decided to show a few, because they just turned out SO AWESOME, and they don't give too much away. So here are some pics from my mom and I's visit to our wedding venue on tuesday, and around the area looking for good photo locations. (the sun came out and there were still storm clouds in the sky, it made for some gorgeous scenes.)

I also included one of my new car, looking super spiffy (it goes by the name of "Silver Surfer"), and one of my camera bag and my new car...because they just look so good together...I have a feeling the three of us will have some adventures. lol!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring was here!

Ok, its still here. but the good part was here for a few hours yesterday, and I ran around outside and went trigger-happy. Enjoy! (how lucky am I that all of this is within 200 feet of my house?!)


And look how AWESOME my dad is! I'm excited to show you the very happy ending to my figure skating fiasco:
$50 and some tiny screwdrivers makes me one happy girl! And I've got a nice little dent as a reminder, never to take a camera skating again.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Appy Tuesday!"

yeah, bad pun. But this post is devoted to apps! One app in particular: the Insight for Living Canada FREE iPhone app!! We've been working on it for the last five months or so, and last week it was finally approved! Even though I don't own an iPhone, I am extremely fond of the first app I've ever designed. :D

This morning we celebrated its completion with this lovely iCake app. (first of its kind, i think!) It doesn't stream quickly or look right on your iPhone (probably hard to un-install unless you run it through the dishwasher...), but it sure does taste good! If you like the cake, you'll like the (AWESOME) app, available FREE in the app store!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pillow Perfection!

More creative fun! I love it when I get an idea, run with it, and then get to blog about it. Yeah...lame, but somehow it makes the excitement last! And I think you'll like this one. I felt the itch to dive back into mine and my moms fabric boxes again yesterday, and this is the result!

I'm starting to spend hours a day dreaming of the home I'll get to decorate in just over 4 months (!!!) with my fantastic fiance. Now, there is one thing I love that he's not so excited about: pillows. If I have my way, we'll have LOTS of pillows. If he has his way, we'll have a few pillows. So my compromising plan is: just keep making pillow covers!!

All of this to introduce my latest pillow project. I'm not sure what my long-term plans for this pillow are, because it looks great on my bed, chair, and on our lovely leather couches. And probably many other places (as demonstrated in my photos-it was sunny, so I used my favorite natural studio again-the yard). But for now, I will just look at it and love it! I love a sewing project gone right! (this is largely thanks to me actually taking the time to measure, pin, line up stripes, and change the bobbins so the thread is actually the right colour...half my sewing projects don't get as much attention to detail lol! And strangely enough they don't usually turn out well).

See? Lovely on the couch.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Doodle Dee

More Illustration fun! This piece is purely JFF (just for fun, I totally made that up myself) and to provide some more entertainment and inspiration for my dear readers. Today at work for some reason we were talking about how we used to have to get dressed up in our sunday best for church every week, and I think that's what inspired this piece. But who can really know how those synapses connect? lol!

PS. Happy Birthday Dolita!!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Camera Ouch: the bad news and the good news!

The Bad News:

The Good News:

that's a new LCD screen for only $42! Not bad, since I thought it was a goner! So I'll keep you posted. I haven't experimented yet to see if its just the screen that's busted. My gut is telling me the rest of the camera is fine, but you never know.

For anyone who missed it, I went skating and was clumsy. Surprise!! Unfortunately, the camera was in my pocket. Ouch. Oh the drama!!

And now, because I don't want this post to be boring, here's a few more quick little birds :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

White and Light

The other day I was reminded of a project I had to do during my first year of DAAD (digital art and design) in my digital photography course. I thought the course was a bit of a far as artistic composition and photography skills it taught me nothing. 
As is often the case, however, the value of that part of my education has only become clearer over time. I was taught about the technical side of exposure, aperature, and shooting in manual mode, all of which had been completely foreign up to that point. Most of what I learned in that course only made sense to me afterwards, as I really began to experiment with my (at that time) Canon powershot S5IS. Followed by my Rebel XSi, my work Olympus E1 (good old boy) and my new work Nikon D7000. (I'm slowly making my way up, i have my sights set on the top ;)
Back to my university project: We were challenged to take both a "low key" and a "high key" image (Low key being very dark, high key very light) with as much detail as possible. I ended up shooting a random assortment of jewelery, shoe-laces, and broken pottery in an attempt to create an interesting composition, and the result isn't worth even digging up. At the time, I had no concept of "making" a picture. Using light, movement, creating composition rather than finding it...
The point: look at my fun high-key image I took in the studio the other day! Simple, boring...yet lovely...

Ship Ahoy

Sometimes great ideas abound, and sometimes they don't. When they do, it usually means I have left-overs! Here is an illustration concept that got rejected (by me) today. I was going for an "art deco" feel but also inspired by some more modern trends...anyways, I enjoyed the result and thought I'd share! 

Sunday, March 27, 2011



I'm not sure if anyone has visited my website lately, but if you do right now, this is what you'll find. (dont bother trying, i promise you, my account is suspended lol). This is the result of changing your email address and failing to change your contact information with your website host providor. I got "invoice unpaid" emails for a few months before they suspended my account, but unfortunately I never checked my old address in order to actually recieve them...oops!! 

So my website is temporarily out of commission while I get it figured out. Its not the end of the world since 
A) I have a job and it wont hurt my employment
B) all my updating is done to this blog, not my website
C) I've never been happy with it anyways, and
D) pretty soon I wont be LMK...and I have some new ideas. So maybe I won't renew it! 

We'll see! So,
Today's Lesson: remember to change your contact information with anyone that!  

And today's inspiration: check out Stella & Dot for some fantastic jewelery! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

little birdies

Just for fun, a little illustration. I guess its a sneak peak of my latest painting project, which follows the same "little birdie" look. Maybe someday I'll make a series of cards.

Oh. and by the way...4 months, 16 days till i get MARRIED!!!

"whats with the bowls?"

First of all, I have no idea if anyone is interested in some of these "technical" posts. Mostly, I am sharing because I'm having fun and experimenting, and I hope it inspires anyone else exploring the world of photography on their own. And because I have all these photos of random things with cool effect (what I think is cool anyways) and I have nothing else to do with them. lol!
(it dawns on me this is really the purpose of my blog...I am having fun and experimenting and I hope it inspires someone!)

Today I did some more practice shooting with my handy little off-camera strobe. Today's assignment was "cooking light," the challenge being to create something "fine art worthy" out of regular kitchen utensils or tools. (assignment from Yesterday I found some light gels tucked away in the cupboard at work, so I thought I'd give them a try. I also had to pull out my favorite model, my engagement! As you can see, it was fun and produced some neat results. Useful for what you ask? Not sure yet. I'm just making pictures.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lights, Camera...more lights...

Playing with light is becoming my new favorite thing. After my camera and flash upgrade I attended a workshop in vancouver for on-camera flash units. woah. i know understand quite thoroughly how my flash works in relation to my camera. know what that means? I can learn how to use it! I've been going through an online "course" (blog at and trying all sorts of new things. So, here is today's best exercise! And a big motivator to me to use my flash more effectively, since although ambient light is usually gorgeous...there often isn't enough, and there is no reason my flash can't achieve the same effect! Or, as demonstrated by these photos, a blow-your-mind better one. Ok maybe its just me.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Illustration Happiness :)

Yesterday was a good day. You know why? I've been illustrating. I'm working on another piece for Insights Magazine and as usual its been a wonderful blur of a few hours creating a new piece. Its funny...I never set out to illustrate, but I'm finding that I enjoy it more than anything else I get to do at my job! Almost more than using my new work camera. ALMOST. So here are a few screen shots of what I'm working on. Keep your eyes peeled for the finished digital issue, or sign up to get it in print (for FREE!!) once a month. Not just to see the work I do, but to get a good dose of solid biblical teaching in an engaging format.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Love! Jodi and Russel Kamloops Engagement

This past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to head back to kamloops (my 2-year home while I got me an education) to take engagement photos with my dearest once-roommate, Jodi. When Jodi and I met, we hit it off immediately. After hanging out once and "hitting up Walmart just for kicks" we were already talking "room mates" for the following year. Little did we know that God was planning exactly that for us! After Jodi traveled the world and YWAMmed in South Africa, she moved into the room across the hall in my second year. Thus began our epic friendship.

Russel and Jodi, on the other hand, didn't know they were destined for togetherness right off the bat. But just like the room mate story, God had big things planned! In retrospect, of COURSE the only guy good enough for Jodi would be one who'd been right there for years. Of COURSE the guy with mad guitar skills she was in love with would also turn out to be everything she'd ever dreamed of. Of COURSE the amazing guy who needed an amazing girl would finally get up the guts to ask her out! Anyways, the long and short of it that Jodi and Russel are like peanut butter and jam: good on their own, but FANTASTIC together. Congrats you guys!! I had so much fun with you both! ...and take care of that girl! Love you Jodes :)


Origami: playing with light


First off, I am not the creator of the origami, only the photographer.

I've been pushing myself to experiment and become more competent with the use of light in the studio (and the portable strobes, but I'm lacking a bit in equipment there...) and Phil's origami rooster seemed like the perfect test subject. Simple and clean, and the  colours turned out awesome! I love the geometric shapes created by the light and shadow within the folds.

Just a fun exercise, but I thought I'd share!