Follow along, It'll be fun!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How to improve your design...

Simplify and edit

My last post was what I thought was my latest assignment for my class. Turns out (since I missed last class, which was supposed to be a working class or lab) the instructor modified the assignment.

Instead of blending a photo of your self with your initial she changed it to using elements (line, shape) of your photo with your initials.

I'm still not sure if I did it correctly; however, this is what I created.

I started with a photo of myself. Edited it in photoshop by changing the appearance settings to black and white and adjusting the threshold. Then I imported the photo into Illustrator and used it as a template. From there I began to create a black and white, with gray scale, illustration.

This is the first attempt/draft


Then I began to simplify and edit my elements.

Here are the three final logos each one being edited from the previous one by saving as a copy in Illustrator and limiting my choices each time until the final design was simply a black line drawing on a white background. The goal was rely on as few lines as possible and to use implied line where ever it seemed to make sense.


Which design do you think works best?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mixing it up! Photoshop and Illustrator

The assignment for my digital video imaging fundamental class, this week, was to merge a photo of my self with three of my intial designs that I created in Adobe Illustrator. I don't usually use my own images for my artwork, unless it's required.

Anyway, I used two different photos of my self. I altered the photos in Photoshop. Then I merged the photos with my design, which were further altered in order to create , hopefully, cohesive designs.

This design and photo(adjusted to black and white, adjusted the threshold and added a lens flare on the left corner of the sunglasses)...
became the design below...

This design and photo(adjusted to black and white and adjusted the threshold)...
merged and altered became this design...
And this photo and design...
became this design...

These exercised have really helped me to push my creativity in direction that I would otherwise not explore. This is why I love school!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How to exercise your creativity...

Create a challenge for yourself and set some limits!

When you set a creative a challenge for yourself, you push yourself to go beyond what you think you can do. When you set some limits you narrow your choices, forcing yourself to work with what you have, thus expanding on creative problem solving.

I love the show Chopped on the food network. It's a great example of exercising creativity. The challenge is to create a meal with ingredients selected by the show's producers. The chefs don't know what those ingredients will be until they open the mystery basket. All four chefs are given the same basket of ingredients to work with, plus what is in the pantry and fridge. They are challenged to create an appetizer, entree and dessert. They must do it in a limited amount of time. Talk about thinking on your feet.

Last night I challenged my dh, a professional chef, to a chopped challenge. (He was the only contestant).

My basket was: chicken breasts, zucchini, and Special K cinnamon and pecan cereal. He had 50 minutes to create his entree. Poor guy this was after a full day of work. He's such a good sport! He won the challenge. AND we had a great meal!


On the menu:

Cinnamon/pecan crusted chicken breast (the addition of thyme made it a sweet/savory dish)
Long Grain Rice seasoned with bacon and celery
Poached Apple
( granny smith apple poached in a red wine reduction glaze)
Sauteed vegetables (zucchini and mushrooms sauteed in a garlic and butter with a touch of red pepper flakes for a little kick)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mosaic Monday! "SUN/SON" day!

Sometimes, in the moment, you are so inspired by what is before your eyes that you just have to try and capture it. But no matter how hard you try, and you keep trying, click after click, you know it is nearly impossible to capture the beauty that's in front of you. It is beyond the cameras capability (especially when it's your phone camera). You try and try desperate to share what you're experiencing. This was my experience, the other night, as I was driving to my sister's house and the amazing sun was setting before my eyes. It was blindingly beautiful!
Thank goodness for Mosaic Monday, an excuse to show multiple shots of the same subject. It was a ball of fire blazing in the distance, so close yet so far! Amazing!

Again the sun/son dazzled me! And I clicked away!

And again the sons dazzled me! Lately, the brothers have been, well, brothers. My little one named the two of them, appropriately, "the bicker brothers" So, to see them like this warmed my heart, like the sun:) The younger one was video taping the older one doing a 180:)

Have a Sunny Monday!

Visit more Mosaics at Mary's little Red House

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Digital Video Debut!

One of the classes I am taking this semester is called Digital Video Fundamentals. I'm learning Final Cut Pro. It's a lot of fun! The only problem, I don't have this program at home which means I can only work on it when I have time to go to school. It really limits my play time.
Anyway, I finally finished my first assignment. A 30 second commercial for the digital media program. I worked with a group of students to shoot video of the campus. Then I edited, added music,a voiceover (that's my voice:)) and creative text.
Here is my commercial...
If you click on the title you can see the whole screen on youtube. (it gets cut off here)

It's a little rough around the edges but not too bad for a first try.

I'm joining Facebook Friday for the first time over at Mom vs. the Boys
Click on the button to visit more facebook fan pages!

GREEN Paintings!

Happy St. Paddy's Day!
Here are some of my greener paintings from the past:)
Painting 2 Creatively Fit

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Adobe Illustrator Black and White Abstract Designs

One more time...
This time the inspiration point is the initials H and C. Different fonts were used for each frame. The first six were to be abstract. The next three were to show the letters in the design and the last three were abstract again.


Pray for Japan

It's hard to fathom the devastation and loss of life that has occurred in Japan this past week. Sometimes all we can do is pray...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

How to find your HAPPY place

Music is a great trigger.
Sometimes you have to go back in time and return to more youthful carefree days.

This morning I looked into my coffee cup and started singing(to myself) Black Coffee in Bed. Then I started singing it out loud to my son, who had never heard the song. Thank goodness for the internet and playlist. I quickly ran over to the computer and pulled up the song. Son wasn't too impress but I'll convert him into a Squeeze Singles fan yet!

This music brings me instantly to my happy place! Back to college day when I was young, carefree and living for the beach!
For me, this music transcends time.

It's not just 80's music, it's happy music:)

I've compiled must of the songs from that album. A few were not listed:(

In case you'd like to hear some Squeeze...

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How to get the kids to do chores...

Chalk it up!
I have put a chalkboard in each of my boys' rooms.

One is framed, one is unframed. 10"x13"

Each day I will put 6 or 7 chores on the board for the day.
Next to each chore is a box.
When the chore is complete they will put a check in the box.

If all the boxes are checked off at the end of the day, they will receive a star in their individual pocket planner (month at a glance works well).

If they receive a star for the day, the next day, they get video game time. I figure it this way, if they've done all of their chores they deserve to have some mindless time. I may have to throw in some monetary incentive too:)


The nine year old is on board. As for the thirteen year old, we'll have to see how it works.
I'm hoping...
I'll keep you updated to see how it's working.

Here's a link to my Chalk it up! store if you'd like some chalkboards of your own.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Thirteen reasons to be thankful

1. being a mom!


2. unconditional love!
3. watching a beautiful baby boy begin to grow into a handsome young man.


4. Cake
5. Thirteen candles glowing on his cake.
6. Wishes
7. birthday kisses
8. birthday hugs
9. dreams


13. Happy Birthday!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Creating Balance?

I have been thinking about balance lately. How to create balance in life?
When I was in school I would study, cram, pull all nighters and work hard to achieve my goals. The rewards were for the future. But there still needed to be a balance. So, on Fri/Sat night I would go out with my friends to clubs and blow off steam. We would dance and laugh and have a few drinks. If felt like the perfect balance to all that school work. It kept me balanced.
Fast forward to today...motherhood, family, etc... I love my family but where are the fun nights. I'm missing that. Feeling a little off balance.

Today during my lunch break I took out one of my doodle index cards and decided to do a doodle that was cram packed in one corner leaving the rest of the card blank. I wanted to illustrate imbalance.
Here is my doodle.

What do you think? How does it make you feel?

I hope you find balance in your life. I'm still working on it in mine.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

It's my blog and I'll sing if I want to...

Sometimes I just have to sneak in a song on
It's one of my guilty pleasures.
I do have to be careful though. I can get so wrapped up in trying to perfect a recording that I lose track of time and don't get those important things done.
Shh don't tell anyone...
So here is a song that's been going through my head that I just had to get out. The funny thing if the contestants sang it on American Idol last night...She's 15 and amazing! I was surprised that this song was still popular with 15 year olds.

Anyway, here's my version. I hope you like

I just made a karaoke recording: Irene Cara - Out here on my own check it out at

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chalkboard end table!

What do you do when the glass insert in your end table breaks?

Replace it with a custom made chalkboard from Chalk it up!:)


I love my new chalkboard end table. And I can change the design anytime I feel like it!

If you have an old table with a glass insert that is looking old, why not replace the glass with a chalkboard?! You can request any size for a custom order in my etsy shop