Underrated Tools Used by Layout Designers and Crafters [Opinion]

I find myself recently more often having to sketch things out before I commit to making them. I am not a drawing artist, or at least I don’t like my drawing abilities most of the time. I do love layout drawing though. While most layout designers would go instantly to InDesign, I find something very useful with plain old paper.

Layout/Craft Paper Design Tools

Sure, you have to start out drawing some lines, erasing, redrawing, erasing the scribbles your daughter left while you weren’t looking, more lines and more erasing but it’s worth it in the end.

I usually have a pretty good idea of what I’m looking for when I start sketching my layouts, and I could go straight to InDesign if I wanted. But I can get a clear picture of things I want to include with paper such as making notes of sizes, doing simple math on the pages, seeing how it looks in whatever book or planner I’m currently making, and even cutting paper to lay on top.

The ability to make notes you can save for when you need them is a great asset.

Paper aside, there are more simple tools like a ruler, geometry compasses, and paper clips which are all useful. Rulers are pretty important for paper layouts because you have to measure obviously and draw straight lines. I love my geo compass the best though. I can’t draw circles or arches free hand, I mean who can! It’s probably my favorite underrated tool. Look at that curve (below), its perfect! A bit too long maybe but perfect! I cant be the only one who still uses these.

Geometry compasses are great for circles, arcs, and even shapes when used with a ruler.

Want to know something fun I like to do? Of course you do. Binder paper clips make great shapes. It takes a little illustrator magic to turn the shape into something I can use, but it’s sure fun to make!

It takes a lot of thought for layout but also in making all my crafts. I use all these tools when planning sewing projects, making planner clips, and even the layout for my daughter’s room (before I use an online floor planner).

I love my computer, it’s like my first born child. I use it for so many aspect of all my project but there’s something special about paper and pencil.



Bowtastic DiyFriday

This week I got tired of my daughter’s bows getting lost in her sock drawer. It’s like the socks refuse to stay on their side!  I’m also always at a lose about what colors she has to match her outfits. So instead of finishing the Vanellope text art I was working on I came up with this instead.

I’m in absolute love with how this turned out, especially since I had no real plan for what I was doing. I literally used leftovers I had in my craft drawers and went from there. If your dying to not pull your hair out anymore looking for bows only you seem to care about, this quick diy only took me maybe an hour (probably could’ve been quicker but Holly wanted to help and who can say no to such a cute face).


  • Scissors
  • Ribbon (Any color you like)
  • Permant contact paper or vinyl
  • Thin Canvas (Mine are from Michaels)
  • Super glue and/or doubleside tape

First I cut the contact paper/vinyl 2 inches bigger all around then my canvas. So an 8×10 canvas needs a 10×12 piece of contact paper/vinyl. Remove the  backing and lay your canvas rough side down on it as center as you can and smooth it out. Make sure you don’t let the edges hanging off stick to your table (or your child). Cut out the corners and fold over the excess to the back of the canvas. Make sure you smooth out any bubbles. 

You can do this next part with super glue or double sided tape. Cut a piece longer than the longest side of your canvas then  simply glue/tape the ribbon excess to the back. I cute mine 4 inches longer and used doubleside tape and a piece of contact paper which holds fine but in the long run, super glue might be better.  Don’t make it too tight! You have to get those bows on there later.  

Now hanging this up was a spark of random genius. I had no idea what i was going to do till I saw Holly with an old hanger than was swiftly taken away, much to her displeasure. I cut off the top part of the hanger and super glued it on and it’s probably my favorite part of this. Just make sure it lays flat when you do it. I cut the edges off except the top and it lays perfectly. 

Then put your bows on and your done! This works great with alligator clip bows but if you have strap ones I’m sure you can loop them through themselves or use clothes pins. It looks great on the wall and now I can find any bow i want in seconds. 

Moana Addiction

So if you haven’t watched Moana by now, you REALLY need to get up and get to it. I have a very active 9 month old so it took me a while but that means no more excuse for anyone else. I seriously LOVE this movie though. I normally listen to the album of whatever art I’m currently working on while I work on it but I’ve been listening to the Moana Soundtrack on repeat in my car and house. Even my husband is singing the song. We’re mostly addicted to I am Moana and Thank You.

So needless to say I had a lot of fun making this new print. The colors are very fun and different than other prints I’ve done and in my opinion definitely has an island feel to it.

If you love this print as much as me be sure to check it out in my Etsy shop. Moana is Available now!





Mickey loves Minnie and so do I

“Ah… Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Oh! Look Daisy! Mickey and I have the same last name! Ah… “-Minnie Mouse

I make a lot of Disney inspired prints, ALOT, because I love Disney and what’s more Disney than Mickey and Minnie. Mind you, there aren’t a lot of Mickey and Minnie quotes that aren’t from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas. Most of the quotes from both are some of the best quotes from the Disney’s universe and Walt Disney himself. There are a few in Minnie that were too cute to pass up from The 3 Musketeers, which you can’t help but admit is a pretty cute movie. I love looking at them together and now I’m counting down the days till my next Disney trip.



New Jacksonville Spa in Riverside and Creative Ideas

So I had the wonderful fortune of getting to accompany a good friend of mine from Jacksonville Magazine, Jocelyn, to the opening of a new spa here in Jacksonville. It’s a themed spa, which is something I didn’t even think existed but I’m also pleasantly surprised as to how much I liked it. This new spa located in Riverside is uniquely named Marilyn Monroe Spas.

Hand with British Love Nail Polish
Marilyn Monroe Spa’s British Love (Tardis Blue =P) nail polish

During our visit we received a complimentary polish change on our hands and I chose a very pretty color I thought looked Tardis blue. According to one of the associates, the girl who did a great job on my nails, all of their polishes are vegan and cruelty free, and their formulations are formaldehyde, DBP and toluene free. I did manage to find out the name of the polish i choose and isn’t Tardis blue but British Love which is still VERY fitting. I’d also like to point out all of MM Spas’ polish’s names are inspired in some way by Marilyn Monroe.

Later, after a plate of delicious cheeses and fruits and a quick tour of the facility, Jocelyn and I decided to attempt a massage. I’ve never received a professional massage in my life. The closest I’ve come are the massage chairs at Planet Fitness and it doesn’t compare. Rachel, who did my massage, was very attentive to what places need it most. I got up feeling wonderful and sleepy.

I was also very intrigued by how very well decorated everything was. The floors looked like an interesting type of hardwood and the walls showcased different iconic photos of Marilyn Monroe. The red carpet that lead from the front door all the way to the back of the building was easily my favorite accessory though.

Front of the store
Front entry way of Marilyn Monroe Spa in Jacksonville Florida.
Nail Polish Lounge
Marilyn Monroe Spa Nail Polish Lounge

The best part of this visit was the inspiration it gave me for my next set of text art I’d like to persue. My Disney work will never be done so I can easily put that aside a moment while I work on my current creative project.

A headshot of Marilyn Monroe.
Photo 1: A headshot of Marilyn Monroe.
Marilyn in text
Photo 2: A text silhouette of Marilyn Monroe.

Photo 1 is the original picture of a smiling Marilyn. Photo 2 has been converted to nothing but text and all the words are different Marilyn Monroe quotes. Next comes my favorite part of adding the colors and bring my art to life.

If you’d like to see my finish piece or maybe even want a copy for you self, check out my etsy account @ http://www.etsy.com/shop/ronohdesigns where I’ll be posting it for sale along with a few more Disney inspired pieces and hopefully soon, more celebrity prints.

And if you decide to give the Marilyn Monroe Spa a visit, which I highly recommend, you can find them @ 150 Riverside Ave #303. Be sure to check out their great package pricing and specials. For more information, visit their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/marilynmonroespasjacksonvillenaillounge?fref=ts.

Til Next Time!

Full of fun ideas

So my best friend is full of ideas and between her random thoughts and my creativity I keep ending up with really fun and inventive things. I did a lot of work with my Disney Princess’ made only of text. So far I’ve got Belle, Rapunzel, Ariel, Snow White, Merida, Anna, Elsa and Jasmine. I’m still working on the rest of the princess’ which is vastly entertaining since I love picking my favorite songs and investing the hours to fit the text where I needed.

Six Original Princess made only of text.
Six Original Disney Princess, Belle, Ariel, Jasmine, Aurora, Snow White and Cinderella made only of text by RonohDesigns.

Now I’m working on something that’s different but similar. I haven’t exactly decided what it will look like but I’m excited to find out. So I found this really perfect texture that I’m in love with it. It looks like a really old piece of paper and will work perfectly what I’m thinking of doing.

Texture for the background of a book page.
Texture for the background of a book page.

There’s also this website full of the original Hans Christian Andersen stories that I stumbled on @ http://hca.gilead.org.il/ where I found the original The Little Mermaid story. So I guess i’m starting with Ariel again. Let’s see how this turns out.

Disney Princess Fever

So this week gone my current obsession is turning disney princesses into text. It’s sounds strange and is actually a lot less difficult than I originally image but still a very slow process none the less.

The first step was of course to choose a song that fit the princess. There’s always at least three songs from any Disney Princess movie that will get any Disney fan singing. My first choice was to do Ariel since a friend of mine loves her and she looked the easiest to do. With so much red hair and her green tale, it made for an easier project start. The original photo (below) was my template.

Ariel from the Little Mermaid

After outlining the photo, filling it, converting it to the proper format and deciding on the song (Part of Your World) it was time to get to work. Aligning words seems simple enough but it actually isn’t. That bit of annoyance though, is what’s makes it so much fun for me. It took about an hour to turn the above colored picture into the below photo. Getting the text to fit where i wanted and giving as much detail to the silhouette took the longest but my little mermaid soundtrack playing in the background helped.

Ariel as text in black and white
Ariel as text in black and white

A black and white version of one of Disney more excitable princesses isn’t very fun to look at though. Who would want to hang something so boring on their wall. The final project though is something I’m very proud of and has a spot in my house already picked out.

FInished Ariel, Princess in Text
FInished Ariel, Princess in Text

Isn’t she pretty and so full of color! For a closer look and more Disney princesses, Check out my etsy page RonohDesigns via the etsy box below. Til Next Time!

Work-in-progress and rants of a very creative graphic designer