It takes time and creativity to produce worthwhile material. Last week, I spent hours browsing local stores for items to arrange in a visual photo spread for a site banner. Given what I wanted was out of reach, the stores in the area didn’t carry the book clasps I was hoping to use, I ended up resorting to other means. I took in the random vintage items given to me over the last few years and I realized I had something even better than what I was interested in. The original concept idea was to design a specific monogram clasp to ‘bind’ to this black leather bound book I purchased. At first I considered antiquing it by scuffing it up, rubbing it down to give it an aged look of a well loved, but worn piece of literature passed down as an heirloom. While the idea is still there, I will have to put it aside until such a time I can find brass book hinges and clasps locally — for a decent price.

Not everything I used in the photos are represented in the banner ultimately chosen for my website. They’ll be used somewhere else in accordance with my love of trying not to waste anything.

Items gathered over the last week:

  • 4 white turkey feathers
  • 1 white Lamy Fountain pen
  • 1 bottle of violet Pelikan ink for fountain pens
  • 1 black leather bound journal with gold gilding
  • 1 chocolate leather pen holder

Items previously owned:

  • 1 Speedball calligraphy pen
  • 1 black crow feather
  • 1 silver wax stamp holder with gold rose stamp end
  • 1 antique candle holder
  • 1 antique travel clock
  • packet of papers regarding character information
  • 1 angel statuary made of resin
  • 1 wooden pencil
  • 1 espresso wood desk
  • fabric samples

All the items were arranged around a leather bound book opened to reveal blank pages and demonstrate a Writer’s Desk with a calligraphy pen lain on it. The pen ink bottle in the background on top of a sneak peak of a character’s printed biography hidden under the book. This book was the one I hoped to age and decorate, but will leave as is for now. The wax stamp is a personal item I seal every hand written letter with after folding and wrapping them with a ribbon. My friends enjoy these little extras.

Not many people still hand write letters.

Here’s a picture of all the items I arranged in the photo spread. Each item in the list of things previously owned has sentimental value for one reason or another.


After a few hours of cleaning clutter from previous projects off my desk, I was ready to take a few dozen pictures. Concluding the fun adventure of standing on a fold out chair to gain height underneath a whirling ceiling fan, I sorted through the photos to select the ones I found visually appealing, and then manipulated them until I decided on which to use.


The original color was a chocolate fabric sample on a dark espresso desk, unfortunately, not the right color for the theme of this word press. In the process of adjusting the banner to the appropriate size, I realized the image template I pulled the dimensions from was a wasted endeavor since part of the menu bar covers the header image.


Back to the drawing board.

I constantly save after major adjustments because I’ve run into this problem before and was able to shift the text layers away from the bottom of the banner by a few pixels to compensate for the part of the header cut off by the menu bar.

Designing a banner for my website, while time consuming, was a bundle of fun – though I don’t want to have to do it again quite so soon!

Next project design will be for the untitled eBook!


2 comments for “Designing

  1. maeveautumnrain
    October 3, 2012 at 11:03 am

    So *that* is how you got that banner! Very cool. I love pictures of books/journals and writing instruments. I like seeing the process of creating all these different parts of the website, which is part of the larger project you’re working on. Very cool!

    • October 3, 2012 at 1:46 pm

      I’m tickled that you love the banner with the book/journal set up and the calligraphy pen. It’s precisely what I was aiming for. Hopefully, maintaining a site to explain the process as I go through writing this story will keep me on task and give others some insight into writing on their own time too! The rest of this site was created with template suggestions from Artisteer and their stock images. I fell in love with the random letter assortment in the background, it’s reflective of my mind when I’ve got this story bouncing around trying to take shape.

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