Category Archives: Little With Great Love

Designing Twitter and Facebook Pages

There’s been a blank Facebook canvas on our company page, awaiting the proper time and inspiration to not only design it, but actively maintain it. Last week, we finally took the plunge. BOOM.

Consistent branding across Social Media is important. So we started with the phenomenal original design that my Husband did for our Twitter page. Here’s a bit of the artistic process that went into creating the Twitter page.

This project started with a picture of a lighthouse.  The lighthouse is not only part of our company logo, but it bears great symbolic meaning to me. Lighthouses reflect and radiate light, and lead people in the way that they should go.

illuvint-logofinalr1-small

Perusing our images, I found a picture I snapped during a trip we had taken over 2 years ago down to South Padre Island while we were wedding planning. This is the lighthouse you see as you pass through Port Isabel to get to South Padre, where we celebrated our marriage. Awwwwwww

IMG_3083

This is proof that even an iPhone picture can provide what you need to get started. This photo does have a filter applied in iPhoto, I believe it is Antique.  I then further edited the photo in Photoshop – applying different colorization techniques.  Here’s what I sent over to my Hubs, Mike, and he loved it. This is the focal point that the whole design revolved around.

IMG_3083Stylized

Mike then deconstructed the photo in Photoshop, where he removed a lot of the trees and surrounding buildings using the Cloning tool. He isolated the Lighthouse and the land mass it stands on.

The rays were from a Vector illustrator file, and the sun was constructed by Mike. Here’s an early mockup.

myBackground

I liked the idea of a little Biplane flying over with a banner of our logo. Another early mockup:

twitter-background

Then comes the layers of waves and the starry night in half of the picture, which was inspired by religious art illustrator.

myBackground-01

Mike found another Biplane that he preferred, so switched that out, polished it all up, and here’s where it ended up. To get the full effect, incorporating our cover and our Twitter feed icon, head over to our Twitter page, and why not follow us @illuvint while you are there!

twitter-background-final

Our Facebook page was much easier, as all of the elements were already completed. I mainly had to rearrange them to fit and create a balance composition within the 851 x 315 pixel cover. Also I had to navigate around the space where the profile picture overlays it (hence why it cuts off so suddenly). Facebook has a sizing guide here with the specifics. The waves were redone as only one tone, the plane moved central, and our tagline added.

background

Our profile picture was trickier, if you can believe it due to the sizing. Facebook says it is 180×180 pixels, but it kept appearing either too large or off-center, and just not right. So Mike the pro stepped in and got it just right.

160x160-instream-glow120x120-instream

This was actually different than our original Twitter feed icon (bottom), so I made him change it there too. Consistent branding, right?  See how all the elements blend together on our Facebook page and be sure to LIKE us while there.

Has this been helpful? Any questions or suggestions? Hit the comment box with feedback. Thanks!

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2012 Year in Review: Annual Christmas Letter

“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

-St. John of the Cross

PROLOGUE

If I don’t send this–our Annual Christmas Letter update–folded up in our Christmas cards every year, then I usually send a note with the card directing folks here for the proverbial dirt on our comings & goings, highlights of the year, and photo fun. Well, if you happen to be a close-knit friend/family member that’s on our card list, if you hadn’t noticed that a card has not arrived from us, you for sure know now. If you sent us a card, know that we are grateful and truly loved it; and this update is written from our heart to yours. We don’t talk, see each other, message each other, etc., nearly enough–so this is my feeble attempt to connect. Pardon the public format, please.

(Violins play in the background of this part of the prologue). Since we moved up our departure date to Florida 1-week earlier, amidst everything else, it may tip you off to the extreme time crunch we’ve been operating under, especially this season, and the great need to re-prioritize our ever elusive friend and foe, TIME. I easily could have been Martha – determined to still send out Christmas cards come what may; but, I’m thankful that Mary took over, choosing the better part. I’ve been spending some desperately needed downtime in a sunny spot, surrounded by a subset of the circle of loving and large family we are blessed with.

Paul Jacob by Waterside

If you’re friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, you’ve likely been seeing a surge of posts and pics from me, i.e. playing with our Godson, visiting with my Brother at my Father’s home–during the short days that our trips overlapped in Florida–baking Mom’s beloved Christmas treats, taking time to blog again, photos, making 1st Turkey dinner, working on our business ventures (more to come on that), etc…

If you are a new blog follower, or just-popped-on-your-blog-cause-I-searched-something guest, well then, WELCOME! Glad you are here, and hope you stay awhile, as well as come back for more visits in the future!

This time for me to “retreat and recharge” has mainly been provided by Mike’s kindness and unwavering support, as well as the flexibility provided by his boss to telecommute into work. And my Dad’s kindness in always opening up his home to us. For all these things and more, I am grateful. Without further ado, here’s the 2012 update!

2012: THE ONE-PAGE BULLETED VERSION, in PROSE

(perfect for speed readers, skimmers, SEO optimizers, you know who you are, etc and such)

Some 2012 Great Moments, in random order:

  • Celebrating our 1st Wedding Anniversary on June 24th. Yep, still Newlyweds and loving it!
  • Being asked to be Padrinos, or Godparents, for the first time together for our youngest nephew, Jacob, also on June 24th
  • Seeing our Texas family, and being back where we got married-South Padre Island-before our 1st wedding anniversary
  • Dad coming to visit us in Texas during the summer
  • Finally seeing my 1st Ordination – congrats to our friends in Dallas who have made fine, young Priests
  • Visiting with friends and family coming to or passing through Dallas – always a blast!
  • Having one of our dearest friends, Kelli, get engaged to Marcelo and ask both of us to be in their wedding. This will be my first time as Matron of Honor 🙂 Incidentally, she was our Maid of Honor.
  • Making the 1st part of “Our Big Announcement”. The 2nd part at the end, folks, so hang in there.

Travel-related 2012 Highlights:

  • Began the New Year traveling back from our Christmas trips to be with both sides of the family in South Texas and in Central Florida
  • South Florida in May for Alyssa’s (niece) Quincinera, a great celebration!
  • San Benito in June, a brief visit with Mike’s family, swinging by South Padre beach where we celebrated our marriage the previous year
  • Louisiana in October for Jeff & Erika’s (friends) wedding – we stayed in a lil’ Cabin on the Bayou. Mike got a Gumbo-making lesson, and we enjoyed a short time to see friends and be back in the country
  • Michigan in November. We took a health scare from my Grandma as an opportunity to visit her and stay with my bro & SIL, Chris & Jen, visiting a couple of other friends and family members in between
  • South Texas in late November – we spent Thanksgiving with Mike’s family in San Benito (we made a mighty fine Turkey, I might add), and then to San Antonio with SIL & BIL, Rose & Jesse. Mike & I were honored to be chosen as Padrinos of the Rings for our newlywed cousins, Thomas & Claudia! We also got to have a yummy brunch with our other cousin, Robert
  • Full circle to Central Florida for Christmas

NOTE: Since we’ve gotten several tempting offers, the list of places-we-WANT-to-travel/friends-& family-that-we-want-to-see is always MUCH longer then what we’ve accomplished. Despite working fulltime and laying the groundwork of 2 businesses, we still were able to squeeze out several trips, as you can see, mostly visiting family since we are both Dallas transplants. Looking forward to more adventures in 2013 – and please continue to be patient with us if you’ve been on the “to visit” list! We’ve not forgotten you – it’s all about the right timing though. Praying for us to have an increase of time and money may move you up on that list though, LOL!!

Several of the Cool New Things I’ve Learned to Make/Do in 2012:

  • Crochet
  • Movie promotionFor Greater Glory, an inspiring and historic film that premiered in the US in June
  • Decoupage
  • Twitter, @LSanMartini at your service. OK, so…I held out until 2012 to dip my toe into that Social Media pool. I’ve got a whopping 20 followers as of this 3rd day of Christmas, to sporatically try and entertain in 140 characters or less. A challenge for the verbose, truly. Trust me, I’ve got Facebook and Pinterest down pat; but I basically feel like I’m wandering round the Twitter Kiddie Pool with a life jacket, and am just now learning how to use the big girl potty instead of the ol’ catch and release method. Did that just get weird? Sorry.
  • Foodie Progress: Homemade Packzi’s (for Fat Tuesday), Brined Turkey, healthy & hearty meals, (click the recipes tab for a few more – but many haven’t been posted unfortunately!)
  • Graphic design – dabbling in logos, icons, new and old programs
  • WordPress-based website development & design– a blog redo, involved with development new websites from scratch – including working on mine (not live yet)
  • With the help of a great new Doc, learning what and how to fight back my Chronic Neck Pain/Migraine Headaches that’s gone on for far too long
  • Photography – we recently scored our first DSLR during Wolf/Ritz Camera’s Going-out-of-Business Sale, and it’s been a blessing. Have loved learning, getting blu-ray interview of my Grandma, and even doing our first engagement photo shoot! This is a good segue way into a a very brief year-end photo tour, courtesy of the Sony a77 and my Hubby & I.

Jacob & Pilar

Gloria in Excelsis Jacob Santa Letter

Jeff & Erica Wedding

Lisa Molly dancing

Mike

Midday on Bayou

brined thanksgiving turkey

Josie at Thanksgiving

Mia

Dustin

BW Lisa & Jacob

Kelli and Marcelo

St Mary's Austin BETTER

Karla

MJ bunny hat

Birthday Family

Jacob in Suitcase

Paul pushing stroller

OL Guadalupe

2012: The Heart of the Matter

2012 has been quite a teacher, as the virtue I was given to work on was perseverance—aka endurance. Through the highlights, as well as personal and professional trials in a downward-facing dog economy, I’ve learned, adjusted, and grown.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. -Romans 5:3-5

The Big Announcement Part II, is something we’ve been building over the years, months, and more so then ever in the past weeks. Honestly, it’s something we feel strongly that God’s been preparing me for, especially through all of the work experiences and skills that I’ve gained over the past 20+ years. Looking back on the doors that have closed and the windows that have opened, it all makes sense. I am moving into being a full-time small business owner , serving as Co-owner/COO of Illuvint as well as Owner of Little With Great Love, Online Boutique.

What is Illuvint? The formal version:

Illuvint LLC, a family-owned and operated company, specializes in custom solutions for small business owners. From online presence to ecommerce, PR to sales, operations to advertising, IT to logos, consulting to implementation, we desire to be involved in what makes you successful! Our diverse, collective expertise provides creative and powerful approaches – from our entrepreneurial experience to yours.

The informal version:

A marriage of the skills, experience, knowledge, talent, resources, outsourcing contacts…that we’ve doubled through our own marriage.

SPECIAL THANKS: I’m very grateful for the diverse and nationwide group of people that have been involved in the preparation of this journeying out into the world in this new way. You are far too many to name, but I pray that you know who you are and how you’ve made a great impact on us. Your support of the work Mike and/or I have already done, mentorship, encouragement, prayers, love, help, yadda yadda yadda, have made us better versions of ourselves. I’m excited to be a full-time Entrepreneur!

Stay tuned for more to come on Illuvint! We will need your continued prayers, encouragement, support, and referrals as this start-up is about to get a kickstart into 2013.

We pray for you, and for us, that 2013 will bring abundance. Abundance of grace, blessings, love, joy, peace, health, wealth, and wisdom!

Love and prayers,

Lisa + Mike

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Our Big Announcement!!

No, we’re not pregnant…yet… But admit it, that’s kinda what you were thinking, right?  Trust me, you’ll know when that’s happening .  You will be literally be able to hear certain people shouting it from the rooftops, ha ha ha!

Moving right along, this announcement is about somethings else we’ve been working on behind the scenes.  Talking about things since last year, consulting with folks, planning, preparing, wishing, dreaming, slowly crossing tasks off the growing list, working on after our “day jobs”…

And guess what — we’re getting close!

This is the special preview of just one of the things we’ve been working on…

Little With Great Love Logo

This is the logo (I’m also now dabbling in Graphic Design–not bad for my first logo, huh?!) for what will be my own little online boutique, called Little With Great Love.

The name was inspired by my two favorite Theresas, St. Therese the Little Flower and Mother Teresa, that “we cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”  This little online boutique will feature beautiful handmade goods. The driving force behind this is my Mother-in-law, Josie, who is a crocheting machine.  I’m telling you, this woman can crank out a hat or a scarf before your visit is over!!

I learned a little about crochet from my Grandma when I was young, but it had been years since I even thought of doing it again.  Last year when Josie visited us in Dallas and we took her to get supplies, I asked her to show me how to crochet once again.  Although I’m definitely much slower with a crochet hook, and still need to consult YouTube “how to videos” (shout out to all the crochet videographers – you’ve saved my project more then once! Learning to read crochet patterns is like learning a new language), I’m coming along little by little.  But they are all made with great love, I assure you!

Our website will be littlewithgreatlove.com.  It’s just the logo there right now – but a shop will take its place once we are able to finish building it!  Since I just got the second shipment of more Little With Great Love goodies from Josie, and we now have a real digital camera to take pics with, I wanted to share a quick special sneak peak preview here!

Crochet Hats

Little with Great Love hats of many colors!

More Hats - Little With Great Love

More hats, headbands, in lots of styles and colors

Scarves - Little With Great Love

Close up so you can see the quality craftsmanship of these handmade scarves

Little With Great Love - Lisa's Crochet

A couple things I’ve learned to make – Pumpkin Hat for infants, adult hat with matching neck warmer, and accent flowers

We are excited to get the shop up and running, and hopefully just in time for cooler weather and sweet Christmas gifts too. Our handmade gifts can be customized too – with your choice of colors, sizes, styles (if you have seen something on Pinterest that you must have, we can search for the pattern to make it).

Crochet will not be the only thing we feature, but it is what we will be putting up in the shop first – since obviously we have it in stock!

I’ll keep you posted about the kickoff of Little With Great Love.  Your support would mean so much to us as we work to get things off the ground, so I’d love to hear your comments about things you’d like to see in the shop as we build.  Helping us spread the word would be just lovely too.

P.S. If you see something you like, or want something before the shop is online, please let me know! We’d be happy to oblige.

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