2021 Family Calendar

At the end of 2020 one of my final projects of the year was to create the 2021 family calendar. This one absolutely annihilated me. It is a tribute to the first sibling we have lost in my family.

I printed off the normal 8 for siblings and Mom, but I also printed off 5 for my brother Aaron’s children. Then every month I write each of them about the stories that are held in the photos of their Daddy and his childhood. It has been a hard year, but I will not regret that I did this.

  • Printed double-sided on 13×19 matte photo paper
  • This is year 16 of creating these and it will probably be my final. At this point, we can start reusing some of those I made before.

I continued to do some art after the first of the year because my nieces were begging me to continue teaching and coaching them, but I lost my spark for a number of months and am just beginning to get it back. So expect some fun posts as I catch up on what I have been doing.

2018 Family Calendar

This year’s family (13×19 inches) calendar was a study of the past 200 years in my family history. It is more research intensive than it is beautiful. The purpose of this piece is to place a family name to events in history. It is a personalized resource for my 25 home schooled nieces and nephews, as well as be a bouncing off place for the adults to research further. I concentrate heavily on the 1850s-1870s (pre through post Civil War) and the 1920s-40s (end of WWI, Depression, New Deal, up through WWII.)

I started out by creating silhouettes of my parents. Their silhouette goes on the page that corresponds with their family line being discussed. Elements include:

  • Silhouette
  • Family tree
  • A map of the state and county of birth when appropriate
  • A box outlining historical events during the lives of the subjects
  • Research text
  • Any related photos to personalize
  • 2017 head shots of kids in sepia

My main comment on this whole intense project – never again! But I am glad I did it.


Each page also features a 2017 photo of a niece and nephew in the lower right corner. The final page is an extra page with Jan 2019 to give myself a breather if I don’t get the new calendar done in time (like this year.) The oldest niece is on that page, which is not featured here.

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Grammar Lettering


I am an Instructional Designer and writer, as well as a graphic designer. I am really enjoying the Editors on my team right now and decided to let them know this by turning some of their editorial comments and gentle reminders into hand lettered posters. Here is the first one.

Compounds formed with prefixes are spelled closed [i.e without a dash – took me a bit to figure that out] unless they create double identical vowels or triple identical consonants. – Helen O’Guinn

This one spoke to me for 2 reasons: I was curious as to why they removed some dashes and not others in my documents, and then it took me some puzzling to figure out what Helen was trying to tell me here. When the aha moment happened, I knew it was worthy of it’s own wall space.

Corporate Communications

I went back to college full-time in 2009. By 2012 I was wrapping up my degree and looking for corporate work once again. A 7 month contract presented itself, during my last 6 months of classes, which married my years of IT communications with my newly acquired graphic design skills.

Initial planning

(I love organizing projects!) My portion of the project was to build the communication plan for the IT team running the program, as well as the process flow and work breakdown structure. It was fun to apply a simple branding to what can often be “blah” business documents.





Note: While I guided the discussions for our team name (Desktop Refresh), the in-house marketing group created the logo.

I took the logo we were given (a simple logo with blue and gold colors) and built out the brand for the team. They were skeptical about the creative brief and brand guide, finding them quite foreign at first, but once they grasped the idea, they appreciated how it simplified communication and visual decisions.


The business was preparing to do a company-wide revamp of their computer systems. That included rolling out around 10,000 new computers across the company. As the project’s Communication Director, I was tasked with creating email blasts as well as their corporate newsletter for the project. This was a Microsoft project, so I leaned on some of Microsoft’s graphics and added some of my own illustrations.

Note: Marketing had a tight hold on anything going outside of the team, so I believe they nixed the illustrations before this was actually published. It was a bit odd working with a Marketing group that was not familiar with trained graphic designers and their processes. I was told their designers were raised up in-house from the sales team. This was a real-world eye-opener.



I also created the language, including an easy-to-understand phased rollout approach, around our process and built a poster sized infographic that made it easy for the team to explain the process to the hundreds of managers this project would be impacting.


Organizing is always an exciting challenge, but this was also the first time I was able to bring my graphic design training into the corporate mix. The project was a perfect way to wrap up my degree and give me real world experience in using design within a corporate setting.

Can I say that it was a thrill to see it all come together?