03 Apr

Announcing Nolan 03/27/2008 and…uh…Fireworks

Ordinarily, I try to keep this blog about tech stuff, but well, I have to break from the norm for just a minute! Forgive the self-indulgence.  This kind of stuff doesn’t happen every day.  Ok, not to me anyway 🙂

He’s pretty great, isn’t he?  Unfortunately he has my hair–in fact after he received his first bath, he looked like he had a bad run-in with a Van de Graaf generator.


Now back to our regularly scheduled geekdom…Huh?  Oh, I guess we can apply a bit of Internet meme here.  Lessee… in the first picture, the caption could definitely be “Don’t Taze Me, Bro!”

Oh, now that I think about it–check out the birth announcement.

For those who don’t know:  At the hospital, the day after a birth they come around with a strange-looking cart that seems to come from a high-tech medical TV show.  It is actually a downward pointing camera that is specifically designed to separate new exhaused and stressed parents from their revenue.

Because the hospital needs more revenue.

So they take some pictures of every baby and then try to sell them back in a variety of sizes and formats.  One of which is the birth announcement format.  No thanks!  With my trusty Canon A620 and a little time on my laptop, I had created what I considered an excellent birth announcement.

I first took several shots of the baby at a fairly high resolution.  Loading these into Fireworks, I touched them up a bit with the Dodge tool.  This helped even out his complexion a bit–it’s pretty hard work to be born.  I cropped out an oval shape that feathered out on the edge and just dropped it to black and white.

Secondly, I used another favorite program to whip up a quick vector image for the scallops.  Basically a bunch of identical circles with the top half whacked away.  I saved that as a windows meta file and imported it into Fireworks.  Once there, I copied it and flipped one upside down for the bottom border.  Then on both I filled with the baby-blue color, applied a slight sideways drop-shadow and small bevel to the edge.  (BTW, it’s good to remember to keep the light unified–so the shadow and the bevel both appear to be lighted from the same source.)

Next, I placed the text on the blue spaces with the font I wanted.  I wanted to dress it up a bit, so I added a white outlined box, changed the line to dashes and fattened them up a bit.  I then applied a grain texture to them to simulate thread.

So far my only cost is about 45 minutes of time.  Ah, but here’s where the magic happens!

The hospital wants a parent to pay $40 to over $100 for a set of birth announcements!  And who knows how long they will take to be delivered…  With my method, I got 55 of them professionally printed on glossy photograph stock for $9 and had them in my hands an hour later.

“How?” you might ask.


I created an account, uploaded my final announcement jpeg, and was done.  Well, mostly.  My wife, in a spurt of craftiness, bought some brown ribbon (with little footballs on it) that we put on the top left corner of each announcement.  If fact, that is the reason behind the space there.

Anyway. 🙂

Technology is grand.

One thought on “Announcing Nolan 03/27/2008 and…uh…Fireworks

  1. good show! (on both projects;-D) i will pass the news along to the kolarites!

    god’s blessings on you all!!

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