*House Portrait*

For the first wedding anniversary, the traditional gift is paper. I needed to come up with a gift for my husband that incorporated paper, so I started thinking.

"Wow, I can't believe it's been almost a year already."
"We bought the house right before the wedding– it's almost an anniversary of both occassions!"
"What did we do this year? Well, we spent most of our time working on the house..."
"If I were Scott, what would I want a drawing of? Maybe the little nuggets... Oh wait, I've already done that. What about the house? Ya, the house would be cool. I could draw it for him so he can remember our first home and all of the hard work he put into it!" 

And so goes the story of how I thought of my anniversary gift idea! I worked on it for a couple of weeks leading up to the anniversary date, and I'm so happy with how it turned out!

I took it to Fed Ex office and had it printed on heavy card stock for about a dollar, and I was pleased with the quality.  Then I framed it with a nice matted frame I got last week at Aaron Brothers' BOGO sale. I walked in to get the frame, and I definitely walked out with a lot more stuff once I realized it was buy one thing, get another for a penny!

Just a little detail in the tree to make it more personal... 

And another fun detail– a heart coming out of the chimney. I think it's pretty subtle– could you see it in the original picture?

I also added our address down on the bottom right-hand corner of the page, along with my signature and our anniversary date.

So how did I make it? First, I went outside a did a light sketch of the house using a pen. The lines aren't perfect, and that was purposeful. I didn't want this to look like an architectural drawing– I wanted it to look like it was an original drawing. That whimsical look is more my style than anything overly perfect and precise. 

Anyway, once I had the sketch done, I scanned it into my computer and opened it with Adobe Illustrator. I like the look of watercolor paintings, but I wanted to add the color digitally. I did this by layering the same color in different transparencies, like 70% and 50% of the actual color. I used my Wacom tablet to add the color (it's a mouse that's shaped like a pen and allows me to draw by hand directly onto my document on the computer). 

So, there you have it! I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into, but I LOVE it. I hope he does, too.

* Melting in DFW *
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