I’m Christine Castro Hughes, a designer, writer, and mother of two darling children. I also run a graphic design studio out of my charming, crooked craftsman house. Brunch is my blog. More »
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sharing the love

I often obsess about this kind of thing, but this year's valentine's just sort of fell into place.

Maira and Henry have been asking for new sunglasses for several weeks now and I finally found some cute ones online. When they arrived in the mail a week ago, I decided to make them into valentines. I stuck them onto cardstock hearts and drew dots and stripes with my favorite uniball white gel pen. 

I fell in love with Mer Mag's DIY animal envelope valentines this year. The kids and I made a few to send to our family, but I still hadn't had my fill. I decided to make one more for Rama. I made my own card to go inside it. I immediately thought of the Magnetic Fields' song "Let's Pretend We're Bunny Rabbits." Even though the message is rated R the illustration is totally G.


the family historian

One of my new year's goals is to stop saying sorry when I have no reason to, so I am not going to apologize for four months of silence here on the blog. Instead, I'll just say "Hi!" And "Happy New Year!" and "It's so good to see you."

I have been keeping a journal since I was a little girl. Sometime around high school, I started taking pictures too. I began to sketch shortly after college. All three habits were a way of recording my life's big and small moments, and for a long time I was the family historian. In our little family of four, though, Rama has become the record keeper.

He draws portraits and vignettes of Henry, Maira, himself and me, capturing moments and moods that might otherwise have fleeted away. I am so grateful for the way he sees the world and us, and I know we will always treasure these beautiful windows into our life together.





All artwork by Rama Hughes. Visit Rama's sketchbook for more glimpses into his life or contact him to hire him for a portrait commission of your own. 


the trenches

Being the parent of two kids under 5 has been one of the most challenging things I've ever done. The comforting thing is I am not alone. Every parent I've talked to who has gone through it — or is in it still — agrees that it is tough.

More than once, I've been told with sympathetic eyes and a pat on the back, "Oh, you're in the trenches. Don't worry. It gets better."

This illustration — the cover of my yearly mixed CD — is in honor of all the parents who are in the trenches, too. We're in it together.



Maybe my obsession with handwriting began in 2nd grade, when I was on my class penmanship contest team. I remember practicing my lettering on the classroom chalkboard. I remember the little plaques my team received for placing 3rd. But mostly, I remember celebrating with bubblegum ice cream.

I've been obsessed with the loops in capital C's and crossing my lowercase t's at just the right height ever since. I can't even tell you how many hours I've probably clocked just writing the alphabet over and over again in notebooks.

So when I noticed calligraphy was becoming a thing almost 10 years ago, I became obsessed with it too. I took a copperplate script workshop at Paper Source. It was only an hour or two, and I forgot the techniques and tips the moment I got home.

Thank goodness for Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls! The artist and calligrapher has taken her modern approach to beautiful script on the road, teaching workshops all over the world. I was able to snag a spot in her class at Poketo over the weekend. It was so gratifying to spend the morning with other letter-obsessed ladies, practicing our loops and crossing our Ts for hours.

She's hosting another workshop at Poketo on Sept. 7. Check out Maybelle's website for upcoming workshops in other cities or just to get inspired by her amazing work.


project peek : hello shiso

Here's a project I worked on earlier this year—a website redesign for Hello Shiso, purveyor of seriously adorable accessories. Mimi, the shop owner / accessory maker, wanted a website that was clean and modern but colorful and playful. The slightly unconventional type in the navigation bar, fun illustrations, and Mimi's quirky photography make it an enjoyable place to shop. With a secret pop-up and rotating knock knock joke, what's not to love?

I am available for branding services. If you need help with business naming, logo and website design, or consulting, please get in touch. I'd love to hear from you.

Website coding by Zoe Rooney