A Typeface for Dyslexics

Typographer Christan Boehr of StudioStudio has created a typeface that makes it easier for dyslexic people to read properly. The font, "Dyslexie," uses specially shaped letters to exaggerate some of the differences between letters that dyslexics find hard to distinguish from one another.

This video, which I originally saw on Boston.com, explains the development process:

i think this is such a great concept, and I hope it begins to help the millions of people who struggle with dyslexia!

Breathe New Life into Old Photos with Photo Restoration ad Retouching

I have always enjoyed photo editing. It might not sound so glamorous, but I can spend hours adjusting imperfections in photos, balancing color, removing scratches and brightening smiles. I am now bringing my photo retouching skills to Etsy as a service! It's tough to package the service up but I am starting with a basic listing that should cover most retouching needs. Here are some before and after examples of what I have done with pictures both old and new:

If you are in the market for photo restoration, shoot me an email at allison [at] fraskedesigns dot com!

There are two types of people in this world: Those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don't.

(My ex-wife loves him)

Today, I bring you my current favorite Etsy items that tribute Bill Murray.

We will start with this lovable onesie with one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movie: What About Bob?

There are TWO TYPES of PEOPLE, What About Bob, Bill Murray, Funny Toddler T-Shirt, Baby One-Piece Bodysuit, Romper, Onesie by Little Patriot
What About Bob? onesie by Little Patriot
What About Bob? is the first movie I ever remember seeing Bill Murray in, and it changed my life - and influenced my sense of humor - forever! Of course, looking back, I am sure I saw Ghostbusters and Caddyshack before I saw What About Bob?, but I was unable to appreciate those movies in the 80s. It wasn't until the 90s when I reached double digits in age that I could really begin to appreciate these films. One thing I DO appreciate, however, is this adorable set of Ghostbusters Wood Peg Dolls by CreativeButterflyXOX:

Ghostbusters Wood Peg Dolls Toy Set of 7 READY TO SHIP Bill Murray Peter Venkman Slimer Stay Puft  Marshmallow Man Sigourney Weaver 1984

As I creeped through my teenage years and hit high school, my taste in movies got a little more refined. Conveniently, that's when Wes Anderson movies came into fashion. To this day, I can watch most of them over and over. I think they get better with each viewing. Rushmore was the first one I saw, and have seen all of them since then (including Bottle Rocket which came out before Rushmore but who's keeping track of chronology here?). Here is a nice silhouette referencing Murray's character in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Life Aquatic T-shirt featuring Bill Murray's Red Knitted Hat.
Life Aquatic shirt by Mr. Cloud

Of course, perhaps the most heart warming item on Etsy that references Bill Murray is this cute, sweet card quoting Groundhog Day:

I got you babe - Greeting Card
I Got You Babe card by Canton Box Co.
It's the most awesome little card!!!!

That concludes my Hot Bill Murray list for 2011, which by the way, is in honor of his 61st birthday, today, September 21, 2011. Bill Murray, here's to many more happy and hilarious years!

Parsley & Garlic Butter

I have been wanting to make a custom herb butter at home for a while. I am a big fan of herbs, spices, AND butter, so why not combine them?

It turns out that making herb butter blends is super easy. I did a quick search online for suggestions, and recipes and ingredients varied greatly. I settled on Parsley and Garlic Butter, influenced by this video.

You can vary your ingredients to taste, but I used:
4 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature (actually important in this recipe)
a handful of parsley
a teaspoon or so of minced garlic (next time I'll use fresh chopped garlic but I didn't have it available for this instance)
salt to taste (optional)

Gather your ingredients. Next, finely chop your parsley leaves. I did not include the stems, but I don't see that being an epic problem if you opted to roll them into the recipe. Just make sure you chop them finely, and after you are done chopping, gently but firmly pat as dry as possible with a paper towel. It's a good idea to get as much water out of these as you can, to make basically parsley flakes. It makes for better mixing.

Next, throw all of your ingredients in a bowl and START STIRRING! That's where the "room temperature" phrase comes in handy. Stirring room temperature butter is a lot easier than chilled butter. I hand mixed, so no electric mixer. I don't think an electric mixer would yield great results. Just be patient in your mixing and soon you will have perfect Parsley and Garlic Butter! I added a pinch of salt at the end, but that's really up to personal preference. The parsley and garlic balance each other well without salt, too.

Lastly, roll your butter into "logs" of aluminum foil or parchment paper and chill. I popped mine in the freezer but the fridge will do. I would reccomend making small rolls of butter and freezing them, taking one out of the freezer at a time, per your usage.

I look forward to trying different combinations of herbs and spices!

Glass Etching Tutorial: Etching Text on Wine Glasses

I have always wanted to try etching glass but never got around to it until this summer. I must say, I wish I didn't wait so long, because it is so easy and fun! I think I was deterred a while ago because I bought the wrong kind of glass etch cream and got frustrated. Well, frustration be gone, I picked up some Armour Etch glass etching cream and gave it another go, with great results!

Etching glass is simple:
- Apply your stencil
- block out any area you don't want to be etched with painters tape or vinyl
- Apply etching cream over the stencil
- Wait 5 minutes
- Rinse
- and Voila!

For my first project, I chose to simply etch the phrase "Don't Worry, Be Happy" on some stemless wine glasses as a gift for my aunt. It worked out pretty well. The phrase goes around the entire glass so it is tough to get a good shot, but here's the final product:

It was such a success that I needed to hire an apprentice for my next project!

I should probably mention that Armour Etch is clearly corrosive and safety precautions should be made when handling it. For example, wearing gloves is a good idea, and lining your workspace so no surfaces get scratched is also smart. It's an easy enough medium to handle!