Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sweet Christmas

Andy and I have been having fun, relaxing, and spending lots of quality time with our families this Christmas vacation.

I gave my father-in-law a gift for the family band that I had designed and it was a big hit!  Here's my victory cheer.

The dogs were not quite as impressed...

We got tons of snow on the 26th and we were all snowed in!

So I spent the afternoon and evening drawing this flower smorgasbord!  It started as a quick sketch to try out my new watercolor pencils, but then I liked it so much I spent a lot of time going back over the outlines, varying the stroke widths, adding a few contour lines and some shading.

How do you think it turned out?  I'm thinking about scanning it and coloring it digitally... I've been wanting to make note cards for my Etsy store- do you think this design would make a good note card or thank you card once I add color?

How was your Christmas?

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Friday, December 21, 2012

i am now an old lady for real

Last Sunday, I turned 29.  !!! 

(We forgot to buy the "9" candle, so actually, I was only 28 again.)

And I have to say, Andy spoiled me rotten.  Rotten, I say!  It was so amazing to have my birthday on the weekend, so I got to choose what I wanted to do for the whole day.  Really, I was like a little kid, it was great!

On the agenda was:

out to eat
presents & cake
wrap Christmas gifts
drive around to look at the lights

Here's what I know about being 29.

 Your husband buys you your favorite red velvet cake even though he doesn't like it!

You throw your head back and belly laugh with glee.  See?  I told you I was like a little kid.

 You get way too many gifts; your mom makes sure you don't open hers before your actual birthday; and then your husband says, "Take a picture of me on your birthday!"  Ha.

You take pictures with your cats.  You should be embarrassed, but you're not.

You get reeeeaaaallllyyyy excited about your new laptop!  So much more designing and blogging can get done when you're not sharing the computer with your husband who is taking an online class in the evenings!

Your cat weighs herself, and then falls asleep on the pile of laundry waiting to be folded.  

Thank you, Andy, for the best birthday!  I love being 28 again.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

MIA update!

I have a little breather this weekend, and gosh darn it, I miss my blog!

So I wanted to take a quick minute and update you with some recent things that have been going on over here.  Or should I say 'ova hee-ya'?  Does that make me sound cooler?

Ha oh that reminds me of how I love that song "Cooler than me."  Anyone else?  You think you're cooler than me?  Yeah, you're probably definitely right.

Anyways... gosh I missed my blog.  It's my place to say whatever floats my boat!  Like 'floats my boat.'  Or 'for pete's sake.'  I love that one.  I remember hearing it a lot growing up.  "Oh, for pete's sake!"  What does it even mean?  (Ah, I googled it- and found it's a way to not be blasphemous-


Okay so that was written on Friday, when I was like "oh yeah!  time to do my blog!"  Except for it was a fake out, and now it's Tuesday night.  But here I am, and here's some recent drawings I've done!

We learned 1 point and 2 point perspective in drawing class for our last unit.  I was happy to do something different than still life, but it was a challenge for sure.  I remember in high school art class, the 1 point perspective drawing was my worst grade.  It was actually the exact same assignment as this...

... to draw the inside of any room we wanted... a dream room if you will.  I think I did much better this time around, thankfully!  It may look pretty boring, but it was hours of work, and a couple do-overs. 

And here's the big drawing we did in class.  Mine is a new building we have on campus.  We used black paper, black and white pastel/ charcoal, and one color of pastel.  I really love the look of the monotone, and I'm happy with how it turned out. 

Here's the calculations and planning it took to get this done... I could never be an architect!  It seemed like such a mess in the beginning, and for the life of me, I could not get those windows to be even without measuring them all and then scaling up.  I know there's an easier way... right?

 Also... here's a clue to what my life has been for the last few weeks in my 2D class...

Making a graphic novel.  In a group.  Soooooooooo not my favorite thing.  Yes, I checked this book out to make sure I was even doing it correctly...

So how have you guys been!??  Any other exciting projects going on?

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

holiday blog break

Hi everyone-

I''m not sure if I do or don't have any regular followers out there, but if I do, I know I owe you this post!  I have fallen off the blogging wagon the last few weeks, and I'm sorry to say it looks like I'm going to be off the wagon probably until after New Years.  Yikes!

School has been really busy recently, and I know it's going to stay that way for 3 more weeks.  It's been so busy I've been forgetting to take pictures of my projects to show you!  Darn it. 

And then Christmas is coming!  And I get reaaaallllyyy busy with planning, making, and buying gifts for my family and in-laws!  I take it very seriously :)  (I just love giving gifts- sometimes I get so excited to watch someone open my gift I about have a heart attack in anticipation.)

I hope to post here and there in the coming weeks.  Actually just typing this post made me really miss it!  So... maybe I'll be back sooner than I thought... ;)

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

fall colors + a train and a bridge

Hi guys!

A few weeks ago, we had an assignment to draw a landscape using gray paper and charcoal.  We had to use the same techniques as in my pumpkin drawing.

I had a couple ideas of what I wanted to draw, but I decided to drive around for a while to check out some spots and see if anything caught my eye.  I knew I would be spending a few hours outside doing this, and wanted to find something good! 

Look what I found! 

How beautiful was this spot?  This awesome bridge goes across the Mississippi River downtown.  I saw this view as I was driving and probably about wrecked my car as I was looking around to see if there was anywhere I could park to get out and draw. 

I ended up sitting in this little grassy median, right as cars were making their way up the ramp onto the bridge.  I'd say approximately five million people passed me on that Saturday afternoon, and each one was wondering what the heck I was doing.  If I happened to be looking up as they passed, we definitely made eye contact as they craned their necks to check the crazy girl out.

But honestly, I could not pass up that gorgeous yellow tree, the train which Andy loves, and the way the shape of the bridge cascades into the distance.  Love!

Here's how it turned out.

And a side by side, or up and down, for my mom again :)

I don't think I nailed it as much as my pumpkin drawing, but I really like it anywho. 

Has anyone else been out driving around to soak up the last bit of fall before winter strikes?

Oh, and P.S. Trick or treat night was freezing this year!  We had easily only half as many kids as last year!  Did anyone's plans get ruined because of the cold weather?

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

And now for the scariest Halloween greeting of all:

 Sorry about that.  It seemed like a good idea at the time...

But now for our cuties.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

pu pu pu pumpkin drawing

For the last couple weeks, we were drawing this pumpkin/ fall/ awesome still life in drawing class!

Yikes, sorry for the really blurry picture- sometimes my little camera is not my friend when I don't use the flash... It's also not a perfect representation of how it looked to me in person from sitting at my desk, and things moved a little from day to day from being moved around the room- like the sticks....

But you get the idea!  This is actually how I cropped the objects for my drawing- there was also a mask and a mannequin and a little figure running from other angles.  So fun.  But I just couldn't get enough of the pumpkins, and that mirror!  How cool is it?

Our assignment was to use black and white charcoal and/ or white pastel on a grey tone paper, to start with a medium value.  I loved it!  We also had to use at least 3 of 4 charcoal techniques- smudging, hatching, cross hatching, and stippling.  My strategy was to get all the basic values in for the shapes and shadows, then smudge it all, and finally go in with the other 3 techniques to give texture and more pops of value everywhere. 

I'm really happy with the result!

Here's a side by side for my mom :)

Can you see all the techniques I used?  What do you think?

Happy Tuesday!  We'll be passing out candy to all the little monsters and princesses tonight over here.  How about you?

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Anthony, My Love

You guys, I love the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  LOVE!  LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

I still remember the day we first met.  It was Christmas break of my junior year of high school, and I happened to see a music video.  We were at my grandma and grandpa's house, and they had cable, which we did not.  And I was enthralled.  I fell in love right there and never looked back. 

Since that time, I've fallen hard and we are now inseparable for life.  Well, me and Anthony are.  He's my real one true love.  No worries that he turns 50 next week.  Happy birthday, my love.

But back to what's going on: WE'RE GOING TO SEE THEM IN CONCERT TONIGHT!!  I may die of love.  If I never come back, you'll know why.

So I went around the house yesterday documenting all the RHCP stuff we have.  I knew we had a lot, but even I didn't remember I had collected this much over the last decade or so.  Whoa, I just said decade.  Yes, it's been over a decade since I was in high school.  Scary.  

1. Concert shirts

 2. A love collage I made from their article in Rolling Stone

3.  Our RHCP cd collection- yep there are some duplicates from before we were married

4.  Book collection

5.  Magazines they've been featured in

 6.  Anthony's book Scar Tissue on cd- read by Rider Strong from Boy Meets World of all people

7.  DVDs

8.  A record I bought in Paris that we framed

9.  A wall hanging Andy bought me as a gift when we were in college

10.  Finally, here's where my design career began. Yes, my wonderful Anthony inspired me to design this shirt that I wore to their concert in 2007.  

Anthony, I can't wait to see you tonight.  Remember that one time you proclaimed you felt great kinetic energy coming from the left side of the stage?  Yes, that was me at Lollapalooza in 2006, and it was my love energy that you felt.  Yep. Me and you forever.  It's okay, my husband understands.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Digital self portraits

So one of my classes right now is Digital Imagery, where we learn all about Photoshop.  I've done some things in Photoshop with photos, but this was my first project where we worked exclusively with the paintbrush tools.  It was challenging, but really fun, and I got to explore my style a little bit.  We had to paint our own self portrait, using a photo and sampling the colors from it to paint ourselves in a new layer.  The final digital portrait is completely painted, with no part of the original photo showing through.

Here was my first one, which I didn't really love.  But it was really good practice with different brush tools and shapes, blending the colors, and using lots of layers and effects to get the smooth look to the skin and trying to get the hair right.  It took forever!

Do you recognize it?  (Looks like I forgot the earrings... oh, and the slight bags under the eyes...)

Here was my second one, which is the one I turned in.  I LOVED this style so much more!  It was made with bigger blocks of color, blended just lightly with the smudge tool.  I was going for an impressionistic look, and I am so happy with how it turned out.  (The colors look off because I printed it and then photographed it... the colors are much better in person.)

And here's the original photo.

How do you think they turned out? 

I am just so happy with all the things I'm learning!  I'm so thankful every day for this opportunity I have to be back in school and to be creative daily.  It feels amazing.  I have so many new goals and dreams for my future I think I could just explode!  In a good way.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

everyone deserves a treat now and then... or every night

See how I bought the special 1/2 the fat ice cream just so that I could absolutely douse it with hot fudge and marshmallow topping?  Yep, I'm tricky like that. 

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Monday, October 22, 2012

One of those weeks

You guys, last week was one of those weeks.  You know, the kind where nothing is really wrong, nothing horrible happens, but it just feels like something is off.  You know?  Like you wonder if you have a weird aura surrounding you, or like you need to go to a yoga class or a chiropractor or something?  Just little weird things happening one after another, added to just a busy school week.  Here's a few things that I remembered to write down...

1.  I spent time packing a lunch for myself, then put it in the freezer for a shot of cold before I left.  Then I forgot to bring it, of course.

2.  When I went to the campus Subway, they weren't taking credit or debit cards, and I didn't have cash.

3.  I had to buy black foam board to mount my final brochure design, and it ain't cheap ($5 a pop), but I measured and cut it for just one page, instead of both pages together, so I had to buy another board, measure and cut it again.  I was left with a bunch of small pieces that may or may not be able to be used.  Lame.

4.  On Tuesday, it was 4:00 pm before I realized I had my underwear on inside out.  Weird.

5.  On Wednesday, this was how much of my 2D Design project I had completed.  We had to mix paint to color match the correlating square from the actual picture we chose, to create an enlarged, pixelated version of the picture.  There were 768 squares and at this point I was averaging 30 squares an hour.  Oh and it was due Friday.  Total nightmare.

6.  I walked to and from my car in the rain at least 4 times this week.

7.  On Wednesday morning, I decided to treat myself to Starbucks and get rid of this bad aura surrounding me.  It wasn't until I had pulled forward and looked in my mirror to see the person behind me rolling down her window that I realized I didn't order!  Then I was stuck in the line with no way out and had to embarrassingly drive right by the window and get back in line.

8.  I had to spend 13 hours painting on Wednesday and Thursday to finish my project on time.  It was down to the line, for sure.

I'm sure more weird things happened, but I forgot to write everything down.  It was just one of those weeks. 

BUT, everything turned out fine.  I finished my projects, had a great weekend with Andy, and said to myself after each little thing happened "If this is the worst thing to happen to me, then I am a very, very lucky lady." 

Anyone else have a weird week?  


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Friday, October 12, 2012

Silly Halloween Fabric

Hi everyone and happy Friday!

I'm so excited to share my newest fabric design with you!  I created it for this week's Spoonflower contest with the theme creepy crawlies.

I started with the spiders as the creepy crawlies and added some other fun and goofy looking Halloween creatures.  I don't like the scary Halloween stuff!  Goofy and silly with googly eyes for me, please.

I love the way it turned out!  The design worked so well with a half drop repeat also.  Here's a screen shot from my Spoonflower shop.

There are so many fun designs in the contest this week; you can go here to check them out and vote for your favorites!

I'm off to spend time with my family!  They are driving 6 hours to visit me, and I have to say that I am one lucky lady!  

What are you up to this weekend?  Hope it's a good one!

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Name that TV show!

I'm going to say something that I've been needing to say to you all...  I LOVE T.V.!  Whew, okay feels good to say that out loud.  Or type that out loud?

Some of my favorite shows are no longer with us, and have moved on to that big T.V. place in the sky; some I have watched faithfully for several seasons; and some are new.  And I love them all.  Such a big waste of time, I know, but until I have kids, my nights are free to stare at a screen and pretend the characters are not only real people, but real people who would be my friends in real life... that's normal, right?  Ah well... 

So, fellow T.V. lovers of the world, are you ready to play?  Name that show!

1.  Nick and Jess are totally meant for each other... and I can't get enough of Zooey Deschanel.

2.  When I was in high school, my family visited Wilmington, North Carolina, and I'm proud to say I bought a shirt that says "Pacey's Girlfriend."  And I may or may not still have it... and wear it...

3.  Even though I've seen one too many horrible explosions, crashes, tragedies, deaths, and breakups, I'm still a faithful fan of those Seattle doctors.  At least Meredith is somewhat getting it together.

4.  Just when I'm ready to say Jay is my least favorite adult on the show, he does something so heartwarming that I fall in love with the old man all over again.  But I just can't live without Phil or Cam... they are hi-larious.  And yes, when something is really funny, it is pronounced high-larious.

5.  If I were rich, I would totally have Jeff remodel my home.  But only if I could meet Gage and Jenni.

6.  Theresa is killing me on the reunion show... I mean what is going on?!?!  She used to be one of my favorites but now watching that show is almost so stressful I can only take it in small doses.

7.  Haley and Nate... one of my favorite couples.  And I loved him, but gosh darn it Lucas, open your eyes all the way!  Not every scene requires all that squinty serious emotion. 

8.  Sheldon:  "This is silly.  It's just a blue jay, not a dangerous bird like a swan or a goose!"

9.  Ted, I love you, but I'm ready for you to find your wife!  I mean honestly...

10.  A long long time ago, a man named Ben loved a girl who made a really bad hair decision... but that's actually when he realized he loved her.  And then they kept screwing things up for themselves and each other... did they even end up together??  There was also a coffee shop and a loft... and a swim team.

I would LOVE for you to name these shows!  And let me know if you love them too!  Are there any good ones I'm missing that I should definitely be watching?

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Monday, October 8, 2012

My principles of design collage book

Hi everyone & happy Monday!

A few weeks ago, I completed a project for my 2D design class that took hours and hours and hours... and our relationship was definitely touch and go for a while there...

But when I finally finished, I could not have been more proud of the finished product!

The assignment was to:

1.  Make a book out of paper, chip board, thread, and fancy paper.
2.  Create a spread for each of the 8 principles of design, using both collaged images and hand applied media, to show complete understanding of each principle.
3.  Use cut out images from books or magazines in each spread.
4.  Add your own black and white "stuff" to each spread.

Here's my book!

Completely unnecessary disclaimer:  The obviously professional cut out images are not my own, and I do not claim them to be.  They were used in this project for educational purposes.

I really wanted each spread to have images that represented the principle, plus I wanted the collage as a whole to represent the principle, and I wanted the written title to represent the principle.

I spent forever finding images, planning what I could draw on each page, how I could connect everything, and how I could make sure it all came together to represent the principle of design.  I also spent a lot of time sketching the titles, writing them on graph paper, tracing them, and writing them in with ink.

Some problems I had included the book not opening and closing correctly (I had to cut it apart and make it again), the ink bleeding through (luckily this happened before I had everything glued in, so I was able to change some layouts to cover it up), and time management in general (I bet this took 20+ hours, which was frustrating to find time for in one week, knowing it was just worth 20 points!)

When I showed it to Andy, he said "Looks pretty cool... but I don't really get it."

Hahaha... oh Andy...

So... how do you think it turned out?  Do you 'get it'?  

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