Follow along, It'll be fun!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Adobe Illustrator 30 black and white designs


This is my homework assignment for my digital visual fundamentals class. In class, the teacher gave us 10 words and 15 seconds for each word, to do a doodle. We were than assigned to create 3 illustrations for each doodle, using our initial doodles as a starting point, inspiration.

It took about 10 minutes per design 10x30=300 minutes! 6 hours!!
Here is a snap shot of the screen in illustrator. Here you can see the layers panel(lots of layers!)


Here are a few of the designs close up
Inspiration word "male"


Inspiration word "mountain"

Inspiration word "mountain"


Inspiration word "female"

Happy Mosaic Monday! See more mosaics at Mary's little red house:)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Just for laughs!


When I let the dog in the house, after her morning romp in the backyard, I said, "Hellooooo!" and I just couldn't stop!!
Isn't it funny how things just randomly pop into your mind and out of your mouth!?

Have fun this weekend!!
I hope you LAUGH!!:)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

How to be a great substitute teacher!


If you are a substitute teacher who was searching for answers on the web on how to be a great sub, you probably are one already because caring enough to seek out ways to be better shows you already care and that's one of the secrets to being great at it! You care about what you're doing and how it impacts the students!

Hopefully this list will help you get even better at what you do.
Let's break it down:

1. Be genuinely happy to be there

When you get that call at 5am it may be hard to be happy about getting up and going to the unknown; however, once you accept the job for the day it's time to turn on the positive! Start saying to yourself, "It's going to be a great day!" Get excited about what you are about to do. Think about it, you get to walk into somebody's classroom and instantly have a class and be a teacher for a day, without any of the planning, parent conferences and boring faculty meetings! What's not to be happy about?!

When you are genuinely happy, people (kids) know it and they appreciate it. Plus, happiness is contagious!

2. Be prepared

Even though you don't have to plan the lesson for the day, sometimes there are no lessons or the lesson provided gets finish early and you need to fill time. Have a few tricks up your sleeve. Use what you know! If you play the guitar bring it along and entertain or have a sing along. If you know a few magic tricks bring a deck of cards and dazzle your students! My thing is art. I always bring a stack of 3"x5" index cards with me. If the students finish work early I may give a mini art lesson or let them doodle on the cards. They are a perfect size to carry with me and they can't be made into airplanes or crumpled into balls (for shots at the waste basket). The kids love it! They think the cards are special!

3. Focus on the positive!

This is probably the most important one! Instead of focusing on the negative behavior in the classroom and there will be plenty, zero in on the good behavior. I do this by writing an excellent list on the board. Whoever is quiet and working hard I put their name on a list titled EXCELLENT on the board. It is amazing how quickly the trouble makers turn their behavior around! After all why are they misbehaving? To get attention! And the quiet ones are amazed that they are being recognized! It's truly magical!

4. Do not yell

This is another biggy! Never raise your voice. Even just talking very loud over the noise encourages more noise from the students. I start the class very low key. I don't demand silence in a booming voice. I very calmly and quietly stand in front of the class, while they are talking and in a low speaking voice start to take attendance. At first no one pays attention but within seconds one or two start to notice me and how rude the class is being and feels compelled to help by telling his classmates to quiet down. Sometimes a student will yell, "Quiet! she's trying to talk!" At which point I say, "Thank you, but please don't yell. There is no yelling in here. But I appreciate you trying to help."

Yelling only gets yelling and quiet talking gets quiet:)

5. Be calm at all times

This goes hand in hand with #4. Kids can sense tension and nervous energy and it is quickly transferred to them. The same is true with calmness. When you are calm you set the mood for the class. Don't let them ruffle your feathers. You don't have to respond to every question. If a student keeps raising her hand and asking questions just to be disruptive the best thing to do is ignore. If they continue you can very matter of factly say, "There are no question right now. Or please don't be rude by interrupting "(if they are calling out).

Move slowing around and purposefully around the class. When you're calm and alert and engaged the students know you're in charge. This makes them fell calm and relaxed. The result is better behavior and respect for you.

6. Take a real interest in the students

This is their education. It's important. They are important. Care about the students in your class. Involve them in class discussion. Talk to them. It's even ok to joke around a little but always maintain professionalism and be appropriate. Kids know when you really care and they know when you don't.

7. Be pleasant

If you follow all of the above this comes naturally! There's no need to scowl and be cold. Kids don't respect that. If you are in a bad mood, leave it at home. It's not going to help you in the classroom. It will only make your day worse. Put on a happy face and before you know it you will genuinely be happy!

8. Finally! TEACH!

Yes the whole reason you are there!
Even though you may not be a science teacher, you can follow the lesson and teach it for the day. It's exciting and fun to teach! You are a Science teacher for a day!! How cool is that?! And there is really no pressure. Nobody expects too much so just have fun with it and teach! It's really rewarding! And believe it or not the kids will appreciate a genuinely happy to be there, prepared, positive, calm, non yelling, engaged, and pleasant substitute TEACHER for a day!

If you don't think you get paid enough to do all of this, think of it this way, it is volunteer work for the community! ( paid volunteerism:))

Sorry for such a long post(if you actually made it to the end) I just had a lot on my mind. I think this list could apply to many other situations too.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

How to get inspired in 2011...

The number 11 doesn't look very exciting at first glance, but than I got to thinking...11 The year of the line! The possibilities are endless!?

In home decor...
Furniture design...
photo dwell


And art!!


What's really funny, I started a new semester at school. I'm taking Digital imaging fundamentals and the very first assignment is to create 50 lines!! I guess it is the year of the line!

I haven't quite reached 50 yet but I am having a lot of fun exploring the possibilities.


Using pencil


Mixed media-texture


And a variety of other media.

This really is going to be a good year for creating art!

I'm also taking a Video imaging class where I will be shooting, editing and producing a commercial. I can't wait to get started!

Here's a music video combining typography, live video and music (great inspiration)

Eric Hutchinson "Ok It's Alright With Me" from Chris Marrs Piliero on Vimeo.

I can't wait to create______________________ something!

P.S. Don't forget it's Mosaic Monday at Mary's little red house!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mosaic Monday-Science Fair Week!

Science is not exactly pretty or aesthetically pleasing.

But you have to try...

My son went back to school today and brought in his Science fair project!

His project was about the circadian rhythm in a gerbil! We actually bought his gerbil for the experiment. Don't worry, we didn't harm her, maybe just confused her a little.
The experiment was to play with the circadian rhythm, by altering the light pattern of the gerbil's environment. The tank was kept in the closet for 10 days.(she was well fed). A bike speedometer was attached to the exercise wheel and her activity was recorded every twelve hours. Lights on for 12 hrs off for 12 hrs. Sometimes the light was on during the day, sometimes at night. Sometimes the lights were on or off for 24 or 36 hours straight. What we learned: Circadian rhythm is mainly an internal system control by nature not environment. A nocturnal animal is a nocturnal animal and the light has little to do with it. INTERESTING!!:)

My son included a quiz along with his display. How much do you know about the circadian rhythm?
Take the quiz and find out:

Circadian Rhythm Quiz

1. How long ago was reliable evidence for the existence of endogenous (internal) 24-hour rhythmicity first recorded
in an animal?
A. 1 year
B. 10 years
C. 25 years
D. 50 years
E. 100 years

2. Which of the following descriptions does not apply to circadian rhythmicity?
A. A process that can be found in bacteria, plants, fungi, and animals
B. A process that cycles in intervals of approximately 24 hours
C. A process that is rhythmic only in the presence of environmental cycles
D. A process that can be synchronized by environmental cycles

3.What is an "actogram"?
A. A unit of mass equivalent to 10-15 grams
B. A machine that records circadian rhyhms
C. A cyclic nightmare
D. A plot of activity over time

4. The period (cycle length) of circadian rhythms is determined
A. Mostly by nature (genetic inheritance)
B. Mostly by nurture (history of environmental exposure)
C. Equally by nature and nurture
D. By neither nature nor nurture

5. How long ago is circadian rhythmicity believed to have evolved?
A. Several trillion years
B. Several billion years
C. Several million years
D. Several thousand years

6. Why are nocturnal organisms active at night?
A. Because their eyes are specialized for night vision
B. Because their circadian system is unresponsive to light
C. Because their active phase is genetically timed to subjective night
D. A and C

7. The "master circadian pacemaker" in the mammalian brain is located in the
A. Suprachiasmatic nucleus
B. Preoptic area
C. Thalamus
D. Hippocampus

1.E, 2.C, 3.D 4.A, 5.B, 6.D, 7.A

I helped my his with his display by creating this little clipart in illustrator. My school is coming in handy if not with a paying job at least to help my kids with their school work.:)


We printed it out on an 8'x10" sheet of paper, mounted it on foam baord, cut it out and attached it to the banner for a little extra piazza!
Science is FUN!
Happy Mosaic Monday!

Visit more fun, beautiful, interesing and educational(?) mosaics at Mary's Little Red house

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chalk it up! 2011

It's time to get back to work and school. And it's time to add new products to my etsy shop! I will be adding more framed chalkboards very soon. Don't forget, Chalk it up! also, does custom orders. We cut chalkboards to almost any size! The uses for chalkboards are endless. They are stylish and useful for any room in your home or workplace. I keep finding more uses for them in my own home.


Today I was helping my son gather information for his Science fair project from the internet. We needed to jot down bits and pieces of information from different sites as we were creating an outline for his display board. We grabbed a 16"x20" unframed chalkboard, perfect for jotting down facts!


Hum... I think our next home decorating project will be to paint an entire table top with chalkboard paint.


This would make a great craft/project table!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 Oh Happy Day!

Yes, I've decided this is the year of laughter!!

I wasn't sure what I wanted my first post of the new year to be about. I'm not a good new year's resolution maker or keeper, but this year I'm really going to try to keep one resolution...MORE LAUGHTER!! I don't promise a comedy blog. The resolution is to laugh more not to make more people laugh. But who knows, maybe I can do both occasionally:) Laughter is the best medicine! So, this year is about finding the funny in life!

I started the new year by going to a comedy show on New Year's Day eve. The chef and I decided, at the last minute, to go see Howie Mandel at the Hard Rock. I've always thought he was funny and very quick witted. The show was great! We laughed for the full hour and a half. It's amazing how smart and funny some people are. It's a true gift! Thank you Howie for starting my year off with a good laugh.
Here's a little sample from the show.

Now to keep the laughter going...

What are some things you do for a good laugh?

Happy New Year!!