The layout in Illustrator. 


 I stained the whole face so it would seep into the cut letters. 

I stained the whole face so it would seep into the cut letters. 

After I sanded the top layer off the text had a nice contrast. 

The finished version with a wet lacquer. 

THEN I GOT BORED.

As is my constant habit, I don't know when to stop working on something. I had a second laser cut on the back of the plaque in case the first one didn't work. 

So I spray-painted it green, her favorite color. 

I did the same stain trick but with green paint. 

It had a cool distressed look. But it was hard to sand down and keep the fine details. I had to keep some of the green paint. 

It worked. Of course I missed the Mother's Day deadline because I was tweaking. She got it on Father's Day. She liked the first version. 

I TRIED IT AGAIN. 

This was for our daughter. 

Her name lends itself to strong symmetry. 

 Instead of the stain/sand trick I decided to paint a darker stain into the main design. 

Instead of the stain/sand trick I decided to paint a darker stain into the main design. 

Obviously still tweaking. She's three, there's no real deadline for her.