Saturday, April 28, 2012

A story about the the time I was sea-sick inside my own house!

Have you ever had a severely plugged-up ear? It's the weirdest feeling in the world.

Thursday afternoon I took a walk down a little man-made lake near our house. I needed to get some photos for a class so thought it'd be the perfect day for it. It was a slightly overcast day but still somewhat decent temperatures.

I started out with photographing a little fishing dock that juts out over the lake.

Then a cloud burst open and it started pouring down rain. This being Oregon, I figured it wouldn't last too incredibly long and didn't really think much of it.

Still, I figured that I shouldn't let my Oregon nature kill my camera, so I hid in the bushes for a few minutes, trying to wait it out while keeping my camera dry.

This got tiring fast, so I just decided to just walk home instead. I put on my hood and hid my camera inside my sweatshirt.

Needless to say, I was drenched by the time I got home. We only live a few blocks from the lake, but that was enough time to get my entire left side completely soaked.

Friday morning I woke up feeling like I was on board a ship out to sea. Even sitting up caused extreme vertigo. My left ear was very clogged and even though it didn't hurt, I knew that's what was causing the dizziness. I can only assume getting caught in the rain was the culprit because I haven't had a cold lately.

Lying down was the only way to avoid both the vertigo and the hand-in-hand symptom of vertigo: complete and utter nausea. Strangely, even watching tv contributed to the motion sickness, so much of the day was spent just lying there, drifting in and out of sleep. When my mom got home in the evening, I lay on the couch next to her and she told me what was happening on the tv shows she was watching in between the spoken dialogue! Lol. Definitely a funny way to "watch" tv, but it worked! We got two episodes watched that way. ;P

That evening my mom remembered a home remedy that has always worked for her in the past when she's had ear infections. Apparently garlic-infused olive oil used as ear drops does the trick. She had a store-bought version of this that we used, but said she's made it from scratch before and it works just as well. The version we used had olive oil and garlic in it, as well as St. John's Wort flower and Mullein flower, both of which are known to help cure this type of thing.

Organic, Completely Natural Ear Drops

After only two doses (one last night and one this morning), I'm already feeling drastically improved. Whatever was wrong with my ear never spiraled into a full-on earache and my vertigo is almost completely gone.

So all in all, this has been a very sudden and strange condition (I've never experienced sea-sickness inside my own house!), but I'm glad to have found a remedy that works so quickly and completely!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New to my Design Shop: Printable Wedding Invitations

I've been working up a storm on my Etsy design shop lately. Besides creating a few more banners, I've started adding some printable wedding invitation options!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A story about an extremely slow barista.

Have you ever had a barista who moved painfully slow? That's like the worst thing when you're in a caffeine slump. I just had that experience today in the campus coffee shop.

"Yes, I'd like a tall house coffee."

"House coffee? ... Okay... no problem..."

"Great thanks," I said as I handed her my debit card.

She slowly reached her hand out for it... slowly... okay she had it... then she ran the card... slowly... then she stared at the register like she forgot what she was doing.

I stretched my customer punch card towards her with hopes that she'd speed up and get to the giving me coffee part.

She looked up... slowly...

"Would you like your receipt?"

"No thanks."

"No... Okay..." She was still holding the receipt in her hands and then seemed to remember that I needed to sign one copy... She slowly handed it towards me... "Here... You'll need to sign this one..."

"Great thanks and I have this too," I said hurriedly as I lay my punch card on the register while I signed her copy of the receipt. 'See, I can multi-task', I thought to myself, wishing she'd hurry up.

She held the punch card and looked at it... she seemed to be lost... maybe I'd interrupted her train of thought... she found the special hole-puncher... slowly lined it up with the next available spot to be punched... she was eyeing it good now, making sure it lined up...

I stood there...

Eyes glazing over...

Watching life pass me by...

She finally got the punch card punched...

Then she handed me...

The hole-puncher...

I blinked... slightly befuddled. What was going on here? My brain couldn't comprehend the situation. I just wanted my coffee!

Instead of reaching for the hole-puncher, I handed her back the signed receipt. She took it... slowly... then laughed... slowly. She mumbled something about how I probably didn't want the hole-puncher and then handed me the punch card instead. I faked a smile and tried to focus my caffeine-deprived brain on what she was saying.

I took my debit card and punch card and jammed them back into my wallet. She started to walk away. Visions of never getting coffee flashed through my mind.

Almost as an afterthought, she paused in mid-stride... stopped... turned... picked a tall cup off the stack... handed it to me... started to walk away again...

"Thanks can I have some cream too?" I blurted out before she could get too far.

"Cream... you don't want chai, right?"


She was looking at me for confirmation...

"Right, cream," I repeated, wondering how chai had barged it's way into the conversation.

She reached into the mini-fridge below the register... slowly... pulled out the half-n-half... slowly. I took it and poured a bit in my cup faster than she could close the fridge door. The next customer was starting to recite her order already and the barista was still staring at the half-n-half like she wasn't quite sure what to do next.

Thankfully her next move was not my concern and I was now free to move as fast as I wanted to. I went to the self-serve station and filled my cup up with the warm magical liquid, marveling at how long that whole interaction had taken. Maybe she was new... maybe she was just having a bad day... but it made me really appreciative of the super fast, super bubbly Starbucks baristas.

Maybe one of them should come work here...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On not being afraid to scrap a design.

Part of being a graphic designer is learning when to scrap something and start over and when to just keep pushing through. You have to weigh how much time and energy you've put in vs. whether or not what you're doing is actually working. It's like when you're knitting and you're about halfway done with a pattern and realize that you did something wrong on the 2nd row. Is it worth it to start over? Will it make a difference or can you hide it? Sometimes it really is better to start over. Sometimes you can fix it. It just depends.

Last night I spent hours trying to illustrate the bicycle from my travel poster and it was still turning out rather dodgy (sorry, I've been watching Australian television again). Between that and being tired, I just set it aside and went to bed. Maybe there's something to be said for working out your problems in your sleep because when I woke up I knew that I'd been making it way too complicated for myself. The solution was too obvious. Instead of cutting out the counterspaces, like I had been doing, why didn't I just draw the actual object? Seems obvious in retrospect...

And so, in about a half hour flat, I redid the entire wheel that had taken me 5 hours to do yesterday. It looks so much better though! Sometimes starting over is exactly the right method.

First attempt

Second attempt
{Travel Poster updates: 1 . 2 . 3 }

What I've Watched #3

Like any good student, I'm adept at procrastination. Here are some of the movies/shows that have been helping me! ;)


I re-watched the entire series of Felicity recently (all 4 seasons). I'd forgotten how it all ended - kinda crazy! Is it just me, or should they have ended the show after the college graduation episode? Other than that... LOVE this show and could watch it every day.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars.


This was a typical disaster movie, but I tend to enjoy those, so it was fun. Best part was that they saved the origin reveal until the very end!

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Another Earth

Not the sci-fi adventure that this sounds like, this was a fascinating indie film shot with basically no budget in the filmmaker's own house, and which surprisingly co-starred an actual semi-famous-guy (who, as it turns out, basically did it for nothing because he liked the script). Overall it was a pretty brilliant movie.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Hunger Games

This movie needs no introduction. If you haven't seen it... read the book first.

I give it 5... no make that 7... stars out of 5.

Gossip Girl

I'm finally caught up on Gossip Girl! Watched all of season 5 this past week actually. Between this show and Felicity, it's making me wish I could afford to live in NYC. Maybe someday...

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, April 16, 2012

What I do on a rainy day.

I keep seeing "What do you like to do on a rainy day?" blog posts around the internet lately. It makes me laugh actually b/c I never really think about things like that. I live in Oregon so it's ALWAYS raining. Whether or not it's raining doesn't generally make it into my equation for what I'm going to do for the day or how I'm going to dress. Granted, I'm an indoor sort of girl, so maybe that's partially to blame for why my activities aren't generally determined by the weather. Still though... I dress based on the temperature, not the weather. Rain doesn't equal cold here. It could be cold, it could also be quite warm. It just depends on what month of the year it is. Rain is just not really a factor to me when planning my day, much the same way that air isn't.

To be fair, if I were planning a camping trip, I'd always bring a tarp to go under the tent (regardless of the forecast) because rain tends to sneak in and drench you from the ground up while you're sleeping. But again, I'd do that even if the weather predicted sunshine. That's just what you do in Oregon.

Why am I on this topic? Because it's raining today. Surprise, surprise. I was thinking about this today while I was driving to school because I've been seeing so many of those types of blog posts lately. Upon analyzing my routines... I didn't do anything different today than I would've if it hadn't been raining buckets when I left the house. I didn't bring an umbrella. I didn't put on rain boots. In fact, those things are a sure-fire way to look like a tourist around here. Don't ask me why; that's just the way it is in Oregon. An umbrella is only really excusable if you are planning on walking miles on your way to an interview or something, which no one does because everything is so spread out here unless you live in Portland. Other than that no one really cares (or notices, for that matter) if you show up with slightly damp hair.

If you're still reading... you're probably thinking, "Yes but... what DO you do on a rainy day?" Whatever I want to, is my typical answer. Lol. Today, for example, I happen to be working on my travel poster assignment. But I'd be doing that even if it were sunny because it's due in 3 days.

Travel Poster: Updates 1 & 2

What do YOU do on a sunny day? Or is that a silly question because it's always sunny where you live? Who knows... maybe we just get used to the weather where we live. Maybe if I'd grown up somewhere else rain would seem like an occasion to me, but since I grew up here, it doesn't. I love the rain, but it isn't an occasion. It's just part of the landscape.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My 10 Favorite Disney Movies

Good morning, lovely readers! It's Disney movie time!

I was inspired by the recent list over at It's Just Called Spicy, although I must admit, their list made me feel a bit old, considering I haven't heard of half the movies they listed. I guess that's fine though, because there are plenty of awesome movies from my own childhood to reminisce on!

Hopefully you won't mind if I add a few live-action movies in here among the cartoons - Disney made some pretty great movie-movies when I was younger (and just before).

I'm curious how many of you have seen all of these? Or maybe you have your own favorites? List them below!

And so, without further ado, we have here, listed in order by release date... my 10 favorite Disney movies!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Book Club book #2: The One From the Other

Got my new Book Club book yesterday. Hopefully the prologue isn't any indication of the level of not-exciting-ness this book will deliver. Maybe it's just not my style of story, but I've been finding myself having to read every paragraph twice in order to even track what's going on. Amidst the German names and the complicated spy plot, my brain longs for some fluff beach reading. I'll keep you updated on how the rest of the novel goes.

Friday, April 13, 2012

New to my Design Shop: Premade Etsy Shop Sets

I've been having fun creating some new designs for my Etsy shop! Hopefully I'll find some customers soon. ;P

Blue Pinstripes

Retro Stripes

Orange Funky

Pink Floral

2012 Recap: January-March

In case you missed it... here's a few of the highlights from my year so far!

Remember this art project?
My non-fashionista's attempt at a fashion post.
The day I unplugged my life.
Some awesome graphically-designed posters.

I designed some fun coffee sleeves to knit up for my Etsy shop.
Have you seen Dance Academy? It's about an Australian ballet school.
I learned how to knit an i-cord!
Spring arrived in Oregon!
I painted a lot of pretty colors.

I realized that music is vital to the design process.
I joined a Blogger Book Club!!
Carlita (my cat) took center stage on the blog this day.
Just a few of my blogging philosophies.
Did you know sleeping by your cell phone is detrimental to your sleep?
Do you zentangle?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

11 About-Me Questions Answered {& some for YOU too!}

I picked up this questionnaire from Michelle over at Books 'N Shoes. Go check out her blog - she's a sweetheart!

If you don't feel like reading my answers, skip to the bottom - I've included some questions for you to fill out!! :)


1. Your favorite author? I'm going to have to go with C. S. Lewis. I grew up reading the Narnia series, and then in college had a class where we read most of his theological works as well. He really is a very good writer and even makes the driest subjects picture-able in your mind's eye.

2. What’s your go-to meal for dinner parties / get-togethers? Enchiladas. It's the one thing that I can make in about 20 minutes flat and that actually tastes pretty good!

3. Do you wear vintage, or is ‘used’ clothing too ick? I'm definitely not picky when it comes to used clothes. As long as it's not too worn, is of a decent style, and fits me well, I couldn't care less where it came from.

4. What’s your favorite Easter candy? Chocolate!!!

5. What social media do you use most? Twitter. I've tried a lot of them, but keep coming back to Twitter. I like how casual it is, and also how you can get a really quick pulse on what's going on in the world / which celebrity has died today.

6. Best musical instrument? I'm a sucker for the piano - especially classical. I also tend to like the cello and deeper instruments like that.

7. Musicals: love ‘em or hate ‘em? I tend to hate them. There are a few I can stand - Mary Poppins and Sound of Music, for example - but mostly I just find them annoying. It's one thing to incorporate music within the storyline, but to just randomly have the actors break into song and start dancing in the streets is just too unrealistic for me.

8. Showers or baths? It depends. For hygiene, showers. For relaxing / reading a book, baths.

9. Fold your laundry or leave it in a pile until it’s time to wear it? Lol. How'd you know? I currently have a HUGE pile of clean laundry on my floor!! Every now and then I actually put laundry away, but usually it just sits in a pile until it's time to wear it.

10. Do you eat breakfast every day? Yes, absolutely. I tend towards hypoglycemia so if I skip a meal, any meal, I get really cranky and shaky and sick. So even if I'm running late, I ALWAYS eat breakfast, even if it's in the car in the way to wherever I need to get to that day.

11. How often do you wash your hair? Um... truthfully? Probably about every other day. Is that bad? I just don't feel like it needs it the other days and I'd rather spend the time sleeping in.

Questions for YOU! Let me know if you answer these on your blog - I'd love to come read them!

1. Do you suffer from Spring allergies?
2. If you could be a cat or a dog, which would you be and why?
3. What was your favorite movie as a kid? Do you still like it?
4. What high school stereotype would you fit into today? Nerd? Jock? Cheerleader? Slacker?
5. If you could instantly know another language, which one would you like it to be?
6. Can you read while music is playing?
7. If it were entirely up to you, without considering your family / kids / work / school / etc, what time would you most naturally go to bed &/or wake up?
8. Do you know how to tango?
9. Do you pick your nose in public?
10. Would you buy furniture from a garage sale?
11. What do you like to do on a rainy day?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

13 Creative & Interesting YouTube Videos

Speaking of YouTube... I was browsing through my "Likes" list and found some awesome videos that I'd forgotten about. Did you know you have a "Likes" list on YouTube? Click on your name in the upper right corner and you'll get a drop-down of your Subscriptions, Favorites, Likes, History, etc. It's pretty interesting to look through there and remember what I've liked/browsed in the past!

Here are some of 13 of my favorite creative/ interesting videos from the past year:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

An update on my Travel Poster project.

Just wanted to share w/ you all how my travel poster is going! I really need to get a move on - it's due next Thursday, although it's really not that difficult. Just need to make time for it really. Lol.

Anyway, here's how far I've gotten so far! (The second photo is the original poster, in case you forgot what it looked like.)

Somebody That I Used To Know

Considering that this song is #4 on iTunes, you've probably already heard it, &/or added it to your iTunes library. However... I just discovered this song this past weekend and have probably listened to it a dozen times in the past couple days, so I had to share it with you. I can't get enough of the haunting melody!

I also found a fascinating cover of the song on YouTube. The intensity of the music isn't quite as good as the original, but overall the video is pretty cool. As someone who took one semester of guitar about 10 years ago, I can't even imaging how difficult it must be to play one guitar with 4 other people while you're all singing! Lol. They make it look remarkably easy though. ;)

Monday, April 9, 2012

App Review: NetNewsWire

For some reason, I've never enjoyed the interface of Google Reader. I love that GR is an easy way to subscribe to all the (what seems like) millions of blogs that I subscribe to, but it's always felt like a clumsy reader to me. It's awkward to sort blogs and you can't comment within the website, which is slightly annoying.

Anyway, so I'm constantly on the lookout for Mac/iPhone apps that I read my GR through. A lot of them are just as clunky, if not more clunky, than GR itself, but I think I might've stumbled across one that I actually like! Have you tried NetNewsWire? One very cool thing about it is that you can create "smart folders", such that you might find in iTunes. I've got several set up based on key words - "graphic design", "movies", "giveaways", etc. I've also got one set up based on blog creator to designate "people I know", which I realize could be done with the regular folder method, but I just love using smart folders.

(If you don't know what a smart folder is, basically you tell it certain rules like "title/description contains graphic design" and then it collects anything that meets that criteria. You can create smart folders with multiple criteria to really get specific about what you want to collect in that folder.)

Also a cool feature of NetNewsWire is that you can actually comment w/in the application! I don't know why but most reader apps make you jump out to a browser to comment which is fine, I guess, but it's definitely easier to stay in one application to do everything re: interacting w/ a post. I like being able to just stay in one application and comment on stuff.

NetNewsWire also lets you "flag" items, which gets ported over to GR as "starred" items, in case you are trying to track your favorite posts like I'm doing. I haven't noticed that feature in a lot of the readers I've tested.

So basically... it's a lot like Google Reader, just a little easier to move around in. You should check it out! Oh, and I haven't tried it, but I believe they have an iPhone version as well. I've gotten out of the habit of checking my blogs on my phone, but I probably should try that so I can let you guys know how it works. ;)

Do you use a reader app or just stick with Google Reader? Is so, which app do you use?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

New blog design!

Don't mind me... just doing a little blog sprucing around here! ;)

I got a great pattern image from Five Sixteenths Blog, which inspired me to design a custom blog design for myself. Yahoo! I knew I could do it!

I really should be working on homework, but this is practice right? That's the awesome thing about studying graphic design - even playing contributes to my education! ;P

I also made some new buttons while I was at it. Feel free to grab one (other sizes available here)!

Friday, April 6, 2012

A story about my oily face.

Sorry if this is random, but how good are you at remembering to wash your face? I am actually pretty terrible at remembering! I'll be good for a week or two, but then when my face clears up, I'll slack off again. Very bad, I know... which is probably why I still get pimples regularly. Sigh...

Also, maybe I'm weird, but I tend to rotate between several brands, since my face seems to like that best. Do you stick with one brand or try different ones? I don't know why but after awhile, my face tends to stay oily if I stick with the same wash for too long. It's like my oil glands build up a resistance or something. ;P

Thursday, April 5, 2012

School Project: an illustrated 3D model of a tea tin

Today I finished up an illustration project that we actually started last term. The original assignment was to create a pattern that had radial symmetry in it.

I got a decent grade on this, but my teacher did say that the elements lacked cohesion. So... I re-did a couple elements and rearranged most of them, and this is what I came up with.

Then I used the updated design for my current assignment, which was to put this design digitally onto a 3D model of a tea tin. I really love how it turned out! I just wish it were an actual real tin that I could use. How cool would that be to have a tin with your own design on it?

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