A New Look!

Hi Everyone!!

I am not sure if any of you have noticed, but my blog and website have been getting a new look to prepare for some new journeys I have in store!! I noticed a huge spike in traffic to my other pages once I scrapped out my old navigation menu... you live and learn.. haha

My new look is definitely bold, but I have kept the overall design very simple and clean. I am in love with a minimalist design with splashes of color and personality!

I will be updating my Terms Of Use file to match the design, but if you have my old button, I would love for you to swap it out with the new one. I am in love with it and will be keeping it for a long while (hopefully..haha)

Just save one of the button images below to your 3AM Teacher Clipart Folder and toss out the old one.

I will also be trying to get all of my clipart sets up and available on my website by the end of November. I still have quite a lot more work to do on my website, but I think you will all be quite happy with the new improvements and navigation. I had to zoom out quite a bit to get the home page of the site in one screenshot for you, but HERE IT IS!!!

I would love to know what you all think. I will be adding quite a bit of content to the custom blog design pages, but please let me know if you have any suggestions on how I can continue to improve the site and content.

I have been really wanting to put together workshops and designer resources for quite some time now. I am beginning to prepare my blog and website for a new learning series and design resources I plan to have ready by January. I hope to bring in the new year with a huge bang!! One thing I am really struggling with is getting used to hearing my voice and seeing myself on video... it is so weird and I will just have to get over the insecurities. The only way to continue growing is to take that first leap in and hope for the best..haha

I hope to touch on some hot topics to help may of you learn some new skills that will help you generate some extra income for your own families. I am definitely ready and excited to start sharing what I have learned and to provide resources to help ease some of the pain of the learning curve from learning how to use a new design program.  This will be quite a fun journey and I hope you will all help get me there as I struggle through my insecurities of putting my face and voice out there on the web....

Before I let you go this Tuesday morning... I wanted to give a little shout out to a couple of blogger/friends I recently had the honor of working with by giving them each a new custom blog design.

I can't say enough praises about the beautiful and talented Jen Jones from Hello Literacy!! I had such a blast working on her blog design and I absolutely love her new look!! Completing Jen's design was the ultimate motivation to getting my own design updated.

Here is the BEFORE screenshot I took...

And.... here is the AFTER screenshot once her design was all complete!!

Her design is bright, yet professional and clean in every way. The colors work amazingly well together and I think she definitely got her 3AM Teacher "Kate Spade-inspired" design. tehehe!! You can check out Jen's new look by clicking her button below...

The next blogger I had the honor of working with was equally as beautiful and talented!! Tabitha (from FlapJack Education) is always bursting with energy and her design helps you get a glimpse of a bit of that energy. This too, is another bright design coupled with clean serif fonts and an open layout that really works for her. I absolutely enjoyed working with both of these ladies and nothing makes me happier than an even happier client!!

Here is Tabitha's BEFORE screenshot...

AND.... here is the AFTER screenshot!! Branding was very important to Tabitha.. as she already had a very recognizable logo already in use. I took inspiration from the logo and her style to create something updated, clean, vibrant, and did not require that she re-brand her products with a new logo. 

Click on Tabitha's button below to check out her new blog look & say hello!!

I actually have three other blog designs I have completed as well, but I would like to feature just a couple at a time... 

I hope you have a beautiful Tuesday!!

Make a Stylish Wooden Pumpkin Decoration from an Old Pallet!

DIY Pallet Pumpkin Project!
My father-in-law came to visit this week and I got a little inspiration after taking a long walk around my neighborhood.  While walking past a neighbor's house, I noticed a really cute and simple wooden pumpkin made from what looked like thin wooden planks.

I immediately thought it would be something I could make myself using an old pallet from the garage. One thing you MUST know about my personality is that I don't waste time on ideas unless I plan to follow through with a plan. The plans don't always pan out the way I'd like them to, but I always do try.

I got home, pulled out an old sheet, my paint tub, the sandpaper, a hammer, and the men & put them to work. Because pallets are made from cheap wood, they often have a TON of unnecessary nails jammed together to hold the planks in place. They are not easily disassembled. In fact, it took some muscle and a few split pieces to get it all taken apart.
Some nails were broken inside the wood, so I didn't worry about trying to remove those ones.

One thing I must tell you is that when I started the project, I had no intent on posting my project online. It wasn't until I had already taken apart the pallet, removed the wood and cut out my outline, that I thought about taking pictures. The pieces of wood above are the rejected pieces AFTER the pallet was already stripped down. I apologize ahead of time for not taking more pictures of the transformation.

Next, I laid out each piece flat on the ground and decided what pieces I could work with. After placing them side-by-side, I took a drawing pencil and sketched out where I wanted each piece cut. I left the cutting to my husband and father-in-law. It only took them a couple of minutes to cut the pieces. They were not all perfectly even, but I wanted the pumpkin to have character, so the imperfections could stay.
By the time the pumpkin was cut out, we were about an hour into the project. However, don't get excited yet, sanding it down and painting the pieces took up the majority of the rest of the day.

We all (including my son and daughter) took pieces to sand down and smooth out before we began painting. I used a drywall sandpaper block and then cleaned each piece off with a wet rag to remove any dust and/or dirt. We placed them outside to dry off for about 10 minutes before prepping them to be painted.

I passed out a board to each person and we all lathered each piece with a solid color. I used regular acrylic paint, but it took three coats of the orange to get a bright finish on it. We let the boards dry and then I painted a design on each of the board. I didn't really have a plan and I did not want perfect, clean lines for the patterns. I wanted it to look playful and imperfect. Quite the opposite of most of the art I do each day. It was actually fun to get a little messy with real paint. I spend so much time drawing digitally, that I often forget how fun it is to feel the paint with live materials.. haha

After each piece was painted, I then coated each one with a clear coat to protect the paint from rain or harsh weather. The clear coat also gave the pumpkin a nice glossy finish.
We nailed it together and had a cute pumpkin to place by our front patio!!
You could even get a little more creative with the design and cut the back post in a point  at the bottom, so you could stick it in your yard. I think it turned out bright and happy!! You could even use these to decorate your classrooms for Fall!!

I hope you are all having a very nice Sunday afternoon & I would love to see your DIY Fall decor!! I am always looking for more inspiration!

I also wanted to let you all know that I did finish a FUN Wizard Clipart Set to go along with my Little Witches... Use the links below to check them out. I will keep them discounted until midnight tonight.

Thank you for your support and your amazing feedback!! I will be back tomorrow to reveal a few finished custom blog designs!!



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