Saturday, September 29, 2012

losing my mind?

In the last two weeks, I've lost my mind in the following ways:

1.  grabbing two paper towels instead of two plastic bags to line the trash cans

2.  trying to put toothpaste on my toothbrush with another toothbrush

3.  rolling down my window instead of turning on the turn signal

At least they've all made me chuckle...

How have you been losing your mind recently???  Tell me I'm not the only one... 

Happy weekend from Pepper!

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

nine things about school


2.  It doesn't matter if I have the best project, the worst, or anywhere in between; my teacher and classmates will always have at least one positive thing to say and at least one suggestion for improvement on critique day.  I was blown away by how positive and helpful everyone in class was when we critiqued our first assignment.  I love this.

3.  Yesterday we got a new assignment to create a newspaper ad, and I was so excited I had to seriously stop myself from giggling aloud and creating a highly embarrassing scene.

4.  I love that my teachers work with everyone from their starting point, and suggest improvements based on what they've seen you do so far.  They don't expect everyone to be the same or have the same style.  It makes me feel really comfortable showing my ideas and projects.

5.  Is this not a ridiculous amount of stuff to lug to class?  (Yes, I pack a lunch to take... should I feel weird about that?)

6.  Two of my projects are on display in the art hallway!  Too exciting for words.  I'm going to have to sneak in with my camera to take pictures while no one is watching.  Again, telling myself do not make a scene, do NOT make a scene...

7.  I keep trying to remember what college was like the first time.  I know I liked it, because I'm just someone who likes school, but I don't think I ever loved it like I love these classes.  I'm not sure if it's only because of the subject matter, or if it's because I get to be so creative now, or if it's because I'm older and appreciate it more now.  But I do love it, and for that I am so thankful.

8.  In the evenings, I get antsy because I'm ready to go to class the next day.  Whoa.  I can't say I ever felt like that when I was teaching. 

9.  One of my next assignments is to create a how-to brochure.  I'm thinking of doing one for a fall DIY project- any suggestions??

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

my self portrait project

Last week, I was assigned two self portrait projects.  One is being done in Photoshop and seems to be pretty fun, but we just got started on that one.  This one was for my 2D Design class and had to be done in black and white, using simple printing techniques.  Basically, the paint had to be stamped in some way, and there could be no strokes made with a pencil, pen, brush, etc.

This was so scary for me because I've never felt confident about drawing faces, at least realistic ones.  It was also scary to do this on 20 x 25 paper without being able to sketch it first!  I was at the mercy of my paint.  But it was also really really fun, and it turned into something I'm really proud of.

I stamped the paint on with crumpled paper, the sides of an eraser, smaller rectangles cut out of the side of an eraser, and folded cardstock.  I wanted it to look like an impressionist painting, with thick paint built up in layers, and sort of whimsical and imperfect.  Though not every piece of hair curled how I wanted it to, I love how it turned out overall!

Here's a little step by step of my process.  I'm so glad I decided to do an overall grey textured background, to really help the profile pop off the paper.

I almost decided to leave it with just the profile and no hair... but I wondered if it was just too plain that way.  At least for a class project.  The hair was tough to curl the right way by stamping it, and didn't turn out as good as the sketch, which was a little disappointing. 

Here's the finished product, with some close ups of the texture that I love.  This project became meaningful for me, because I wanted to capture how I'm feeling at this stage in my life.  If I were to give it a title, it would probably be Free. 

How do you think it turned out? 

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Monday, September 24, 2012

yummy fall

Could a Saturday get any better?

A salted caramel mocha and pumpkin cheesecake muffin.  I mean, honestly...

Add that to an unexpectedly fun art project, crisp fall weather, sleeping in, and a movie date to see The Campaign, and it was a pretty awesome Saturday.

What was the best part of your weekend?

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Our Armoire Makeover!

You guys!  I'm so excited to finally show you our armoire makeover!

Remember when we scored this handsome fellow for $13 at a local thrift store?!?

Look what he became!  Yesssss!  We are in love.

This was our most time consuming project to date, and during the process, I was thinking I am never doing this again.  But by the time we had it inside, all the frustration was forgotten, and we think it was totally worth it!  I think that kind of means the armoire is our baby.  Yep, I definitely birthed a painted armoire.

Wanna give it a try?  Here's some suggestions of what you'll need.

Because this guy was laminate wood, we had to take some extra steps to make sure it would hold the paint, thus the special primer and throw away set of painting supplies (thank you internet and fellow DIY blogs for this tip!)  The oil based primer would be very difficult to clean, so we chose to buy cheap supplies and toss them instead of trying to clean them.

Some other extra things we had to do:  buy wood for an extra shelf and new backing, and use wood filler on some parts of the trim that had come apart a bit before painting.

Ready to get started?  Here we go!

We started by taking it all apart.  You could tape off the hardware if you prefer, but since we wanted to spruce those up with some spray paint, we went ahead and took everything off.

Next, we sanded it.  Here's another part you could skip (according to the primer label), but again, we decided to be thorough.

And then primed it all.  Twice.

We took a break after this step.  A two week long break.  Whoopsies.  But then we had a fresh start when it was time to paint the darn thing.  We decided on a white inside and greenish outside.  I have fallen madly IN LOVE with the color- Dusty Miller by Glidden.  It goes perfectly with our basement walls, which are a lighter greenish gray color. 

The hardware spraying contraption was all Andy, of course.  What a smarty.

After letting it all dry for a day, we Andy put it back together and we filled it up with all our junk nicely organized office supplies!

It fits perfectly in our basement, holds everything we need it to hold, and is a nice light piece of furniture in the midst of all the other dark wood we have in there.  Just ignore that top shelf that we still need to paint...

I LOVE being able to have all the cluttery stuff put away and hidden.  And those canvas bins in there?  Another thrift store find!  I think they were $2 each!  Amazing.

I think this whole project was completed for well under $100, which is an awesome price for a big armoire!  I mean those can break the bank if you buy one new.  Even other ones we saw at the thrift score cost $200.

So, what do you think?  Was it worth the hours and hours of work?  Has anyone else completed some furniture makeovers recently?

Happy weekend, everyone!

Linking up to:
Becoming Martha
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Simply Designing 
Homemaker on a Dime 
The Dedicated House

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

charcoal, my new love

School update!

We've been learning to use charcoal to add value and shading to our still life sketches in drawing class.  There are a handful of us who have never used it before and were pretty nervous.  I've learned a lot, though, and now it's pretty fun and not at all scary.  Charcoal can be used in so many ways!  When I get my station set up, I have charcoal sticks, charcoal pencils, 2-3 kinds of erasers, white charcoal, a blending stump, paper towels for blending, and my sharpener.  I feel like such an artist while I'm setting up...

Here's my homework from last week.  We had to set up 3-5 objects and draw them either looking up or down at them, and then do a second one with the objects covered in a different texture. 

I like how everything turned out except for the leaves covering the table...  I was getting tired and running out of ideas, so yeah... you know how that goes.  That's when mistakes happen.  Oh well, it's okay.

I showed Andy and we both agreed the ice cream scoop in the real drawing is the best part.  And yes, I did wimp out and simplified the Hershey's bottle and skipped the polka dots.  Charcoal also looks better from farther back, so I should have zoomed out more.  But you get the idea.

Anybody out there love drawing with charcoal?  Got any tips for me?  

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Friday, September 14, 2012

i've been working on it, i promise

I swear, you guys, it's coming.  And it's going to be wonderful.

This week I loved:

Watching a squirrel cross a busy four lane street safely.

Seeing the "Welcome Back Art Students" sign at the local art store.

Overhearing a mother checking out math books from the library so she could work with her child at home.  Seriously my eyes may have welled up a little.  Go mom!

Catching up on the Housewives of New York episodes I've missed.  It's crazy town over there.

Eating those candy orange slices.  Could anything be more gross,  yet so good?  Okay fine, maybe they're just gross.

Opening the windows and letting in some fresh, almost fall, air.  Heaven!

Happy Friday, everyone!

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

kittens in dishwashers...

You guys.  Art school is full of projects.  This should come as no surprise, but the amount of work required for 5 art classes is out of control (each syllabus says to expect 6 hours of work outside of class each week).  Thankfully, I'm still loving it!

Currently, my projects include:

Make a small book and include in it 8 collages that illustrate the 8 principles of design, including our own artwork.

3 still life sketches using charcoal, one that must have imaginary texture applied to the objects (like covering a glass bottle with feathers or carpet.

A photo montage using Photoshop, showcasing a decade of our choice as the theme, with text added to look like a poster.

A poster using InDesign giving information about a font family, in a 2-color design that includes the history, designer, all of the lower and uppercase letters, numbers, punctuation, etc.  

Choose a famous artwork and recreate it with our own interpretation using the drawing tools in Photoshop.  

Isn't school fun?!?!?  I'm so thankful to have the chance to be creative every day.  It's such a blessing.

I've been feeling like a bad blogger and blog friend these past few weeks, because I've been so busy.  I'm sorry to any of you reading if I have not commented on your blog recently!

And finally, because no post is complete without pictures, look at our sweet old man with litter all over his face, and some oldie but goodies of little Pepper the week we adopted her.  Awwwwww, right?

I love Baby's face in that last one.  Hahaha... he's like, is this really happening to me?

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Monday, September 10, 2012

More from our D.C. Trip

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Friday, September 7, 2012

my husband loves this stuff

Over the long holiday weekend, we headed out to Washington D.C. to visit family.  Our first stop was Andy's choice: to see the space shuttle, Discovery.  It's at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

It was so so BIG!  And pretty amazing to be standing a few arms lengths away from it.  I mean, this has been in space!  Crazy...  

I'm not into space exploration very much... it's one of those things that my little mind just can't fathom, so I just choose not to think about it.  I see pictures, I learned about the planets in school, I listen to Andy tell me what he's read, but then my brain just explodes inside when I really think about it all.  That's probably weird to say, but it's true.  Do you know how big some of the planets really are, compared to Earth?  It's nothing like those nice pictures from our 4th grade science textbooks.  Or how far away the sun really is??  Or how small our solar system really is compared to the universe???  And don't even get me started on how people ever figured out that we could launch a rocket into space.  And then they built it.  And then sent people in it.  And then those people stood on the moon.   Whoa.  Brain exploding.  But anyways, Andy LOVES IT.  So to the museum we went, and I have to say, I'm so glad we did.

If you love space like Andy, here's a good documentary I bought him for Christmas last year that you might be interested in.

Have any of you gone to see the shuttle?  Any other brains exploding out there?  I'd hate to think I'm the only one...

Happy Friday everyone!

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

wanna know what you do in art school?

You sketch a lot.  A lot, a lot.  You learn to use cool phrases like "negative space" in casual conversations (i.e. Did you know the FedEx logo has an arrow in the negative space between the e and x?)  You have long 2-3 hour classes, but you get a lot of work time, which I'm finding is very calming and awesome.  You get to be creative 100% of the day and are inspired by the talented and creative people around you.  You carry 1,000 pounds of art supplies to class.  You have 4 sketchbooks.  You have lots and lots of homework. 

Here are a few of my first assignments.

This was my first sketchbook assignment for my drawing class.  We are learning how to get the proper scale and proportion.  See those guide lines going through areas of the first sketch?  That's what we're practicing.  We aren't worried about shading or details or anything else yet.  Just getting the right sizes and placement for each object.  These sketches were about 6 hours of work.  Checking the proportions is a lot of stopping, seeing, checking, re-sketching, and so on. 

In the second sketch, we had to make our 3 objects come to life and it had to tell a story.  Ha.

I have never considered myself an artist, and have never thought I was great at drawing.  But I can't believe how much learning this one strategy has already boosted my confidence!  I would have never been able to draw this 3 weeks ago!  It's amazing, and I am absolutely excited about the semester. 

Here's my first real project.  This one was done in Adobe InDesign for my type and digital layout class.  This was the class I was most excited for because I love fonts, using words as art, layouts and making everything look right.  I love it! 

This assignment was to take 3 personality words and put them in a meaningful layout.  We had to use the four types of font (serif, sans serif, script, and decorative), 3-7 colors, had to draw at least 3 shapes, and had to do it in a way that showed the meaning of the words.  How do you think I did?  (excusing the poor picture quality and streak the lab printer left me as a parting gift)

I say "I love art school" at least once a day.  Sometimes it's even "I can't wait to go to school tomorrow."  This weekend, I missed it.  I'm not sure if this is normal behavior, or if I'm just in my honeymoon phase... but I am so on cloud nine.

Hope your week is treating you right as well!


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