I don't feel particularly attached to "Stacey". Mainly because it is a convenient abbreviation of "Anastasia", which everyone insists (incorrectly) on pronouncing with a "z" instead of an "ss" at the end.
However, I'm pretty attached to nature. Ansel Adams takes spectacular black & white pictures of it:
Adding color to this image would make it more playful. The brighter areas would stand out, perhaps even pop...
(courtesy of Andy Warhol and hopefully of Ms. Monroe)
In a brilliant stroke of luck, I happen to have two collage-ready books under my desk, one of America's national parks and another of the Hippie movement. Both brim with old-looking images--mountains, lakes, the Beatles, Woodstock...All things I like. Also, I happen to have highlighters, an Exacto knife, and packaging tape.
But first, the design--the actual letters. Here's the progression of my ideas:
A little blurry, apologies. I considered making block letters--each featuring a highlighted/drawn-over cutout of a nature scene or a face--and placing them on a single horizontal support. But the block font is fairly boring, and I explored the potential of making the very letters of my name three-dimensional. That is, the curve of the "S" could hook over the horizontal bar of the "T", as could the hole in the "A", and so on. However, this wouldn't be very stable or readable. What about a configuration that allows both? And also fits together like a puzzle/tangram? Puzzles, like hippies and mountains, are another thing I prefer to my literal name. Hence the design at the bottom--all the letters fit together two-dimensionally and can be stacked on the "T" for storage/balancing practice/times when I don't want to look at my name. This also gives me an excuse to add serifs to the letters. Any self-respecting font needs serifs. Oh, and you can see the simple cross "leg" design (two of these will allow the nametag to stand on its own) above the "S".
A laborious hour or two of Corel later (I think I'm getting the hang of it!), I managed to print my design on cardboard. The result was faithful to the plan (dare I say, identical to the sketch above), but I decided to scale down the letters (height of about 2.5 inches instead of 4):
and they actually fit together!!
To give the letters color and weight, I sandwiched my highlighted images of mountains/people (cut out from the aforementioned books) in pairs of acrylic letters. Unfortunately, acrylic glue makes the colors bleed, so I used packaging tape around the borders to hold the sandwiches together. Added bonus: tighter fit of resulting puzzle.
Here are the sandwiches:
Note that you can't see the tape. This is intentional. The letters are double-sided (images on both sides), but the backs are less representational than the fronts.
Finally I cut out two cross-shaped legs & decorated them with vinyl stickers. For, you know, added pop. The acrylic glue and width estimates were sadly suboptimal--the "T" and the "C" refused to stay upright, much less hold up the other letters. But then I discovered that several nearly-invisible layers of packaging tape are perfect for tightening the snap fit joint. The name tag stands, and exact balance can be accomplished with enough time/patience.
As a bonus, the letters can be pulled apart and hung up on the T for an interesting game of balance (feet themselves are stable but the letters require left-right adjustment so as not to slant) and a cool layering effect of images:
A sufficiently entertaining puzzle for my purposes. It fits together AND balances in several different arrangements. It also features some of my favorite things--wooded mountains, hippie music festivals, neon orange & blue, serifs--and optionally displays my name. I hope Ansel and Andy would approve.