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Showing posts from September, 2012

Biology Project - Week 1

Today I started my biology project. We're supposed to study a single plot of land for 8 weeks and report on our findings each week. We were given a field guide with questions and tasks to guide us (find a leaf, measure the air temperature, etc) and are basically supposed to behave like scientists studying a new environment.

We were told to try to find a site that measures roughly 50x100 feet; has meadow and trees, but no water running through it; is not mowed or cultivated; and is ideally close to home. So... as I half-heartedly observed my town, nothing jumped out as even remotely meeting the requirements. This is Oregon, so there's water everywhere (or blackberries, which are equally impenetrable). Also, do you know how hard it is to find a field that hasn't been mowed or isn't part of someone's wheat crop?

I finally settled on the garden plot out in our backyard. We've let it go wild over the past year, so I think it qualifies on most accounts (although it&#…

25-Step Value Scale

One of my projects this week was to make a 25-step value scale in pencil. Well, technically 9 of the steps were computer generated, but the other 16 were pencil. It sounds worse than it is, and honestly it felt great to get my drawing pencils out again!

First Week of School

Hi everyone! How's life out there in the non-student world? I'm four days into my second year of design school and it's great (and tiring!) to be back in the swing of things. I feel like I know more what to expect this year, which is a great feeling.

I haven't seen a lot of the first-years yet, since we have vastly different schedules, but the few I have seen all look scared and lost! Did we look like that last year? (Probably!). Of my class, about 25 came back this year. I really didn't expect that many, as the class a year ahead of us only retained about 6 or 7 students from first year to second year! It's nice to have so many familiar faces around, though!

So far my days this week have been a flurry of lectures, reading texts on graphic design, art history, and biology (the one general ed I have left to take), breaking out the pencils, rulers, and papers to start on some illustration projects, and standing in long lines at the bookstore. I keep meaning to ta…

De-Stress Your Life... One Month at a Time

I'm becoming more and more convinced that stress is a key factor in not only our health but also in how happy we are and how long a life we live. Before I went back to school a year ago, I was sick constantly! I was also completely stressed out by my work environment. It was this situation where I wasn't being appreciated, I wasn't given enough to do, and I had absolutely no control over changing any of that.

In this past year though, as I've struggled to keep two Etsy shops afloat, gone back to school full-time, and moved twice... I've actually been far less stressed! I rarely get sick anymore, either, was is quite amazing to me! I'd started to think being sick was just "normal" for me.

So as I'm looking back over this past year and loving the positive direction my life is taking... it makes me want to continue in that direction!

If you've been a reader of this blog for any length of time, you probably know that I love setting resolutions for…

Fall Knitted Hats and Accessories

Fall is my favorite time of year, in case you didn't know. The leaves changing, spices in the kitchen, crisp air, warm sweaters. The whole vibe of the season is so exciting to me, like something's brewing and about to happen. Which is why I'm so happy to show you some more of my amazing line of knit hats and accessories! (Smooth segue, no?) I've got acrylic hats and wool-blend hats, as well as a few gorgeous scarves and cowls. And all in super cute colors, too! Makes me very excited about this upcoming Fall season!!

What's your favorite thing about Fall?

Starting an Herb Garden

Yesterday I stopped by the local farm store and was poking around their garden section. I've been meaning to start an herb garden for like 5 years, so figured this was a good a day as any to get started on that.

Did you know you can buy cayenne pepper plants? Did you even know cayenne peppers grew on plants? I'm not sure that ever really occurred to me. I've only seen cayenne ground up in jars in the spice aisle at the grocery store! Lol.

Anyway, after browsing everything they had, I decided to start my indoor garden with a pineapple mint plant. Pineapple mint is so named because supposedly it smells like pineapples when you brush past the leaves, although it just smells (and tastes!) like plain old mint to me. But it's a cute plant and should be fun to (try to) take care of! My grandpa had a patch of mint in his backyard when I was growing up that I loved to eat, so this seemed like a good plant to start with.

Some of the other plants I saw at the farm store were gre…

TV Theme Songs

I have this rule for myself that I have to watch through the opening credits of a show at least twice a year: once at the season premiere, and once at the season finale, so that I remember them. In this era of TiVo, I generally fast-forward through this part so I can just start watching the show each week, but there really is something great and memory-making about hearing a show's theme music! Plus a show's opening sequence is usually pretty fun and creative in and of itself.

Here are a few recent-ish openings that I like. What are your favorite theme songs?

Why I am only sort of going to continue to do swaps (even though I said I wouldn't).

Okay I know I said I wasn't going to do sponsors anymore, but... I had so many complaints about that that I decided to continue in just a lessened way (so as to make it easier on myself while I'm busy with school).

My blog is now open to swaps only, not paid spots, for creative and interesting blogs. I am not going to do anymore giveaways or Sponsor Intro posts or anything like that. I also have a disclaimer on my swap page that I do not wish to participate in anyone else's giveaway or Sponsor Intro posts. Sorry if that makes me a spoil sport, but that gets REALLY TIME CONSUMING when I have 10-20 blogs that I'm swapping with. Everyone seems to have their own version of interview questions or survey that they want me to fill out, along with submitting a photo, social media icons, an "about me" blurb, etc. And while I appreciate that each blogger really wants to make an awesome Sponsor Intro post, it's all just entirely too much (and besides... no one reads…

Meet a Designer: Stephanie Kubo

I stumbled across a completely fascinating artist today, Stephanie Kubo. Her portfolio doesn't state if she's a working designer, illustrator, etc, but her work is exquisite so I think she fits the bill for including in my Meet a Designer series. Enjoy! (Linking up with Kristen Victoria).

Looking for a new church

For reasons I won't bore you with, I'll most likely be moving a little closer to school within the next month or two. This prompted me to start church-hunting again, to find something a little closer to where I'll be located. And this, of course, prompted me to start thinking in depth about what helps me decide what churches to try and what churches to stick with once I try them.

I must say, a church's website is a pretty huge first impression. If you don't have one... or if it looks like it hasn't been updated since 1992... I most likely won't read far enough to even find out when your service times are. You don't need a flashy, gimmicky site either (in fact, I'd prefer you didn't), but please make sure to list services times, directions, ministry and education opportunities, and also names and emails/phone numbers of people I can get in contact with in case I have more questions. Also, it is super helpful to have some photos/videos of …

Budgeting Ideas for Creatives

I'm a horrible budgeter... as in, I never budget. I kind of keep in the back of my mind how much money I have and I try never to go over that... which I feel like I generally succeed at. But I don't actually sit down and plan out how much to spend (or not spend) in each category of my life. I have made budgets in the past, but never seem to be able to stick to them. I think maybe my brain just doesn't operate that way.

Have you heard of Outright? It's a keep-track-of-your-money website that has bank-level encryption and security that I signed up for a couple years ago during one of my boring afternoons at work (back before I left work to start taking classes again). Like most budgeting plans, I set it up and then never looked at it again.

Well they emailed me today enticing me to check in and use my account a little more actively. I was like, "Outright? Oh yeah, I forgot about that site!" Lol.

It was actually pretty interesting going back over my finances for…

Goodbye Ads!

I've decided, for the sake of my sanity, to forgo keeping sponsor ads on my site for the school year. I'll revisit the idea next summer, but for now... I'm headed back to school for another year of graphic design! I anticipate being SUPER BUSY, as I am taking 2nd year classes and also some 3rd year classes. It's been really fun getting to know all of you who have sponsored me over the last few months, so don't be a stranger! I hope to still see your wonderful comments on my blog over this coming school year. :)

Writing interesting and engaging blog posts

Wow! Only two weeks left in this summer blog series! Where has the time gone?

So, I've been thinking a lot about what makes a "good" blog post lately. If you would've asked me a month ago, I'd have probably said something along the lines of... find a niche, write what's you, love what you write, etc, etc...

But I'm not going to.

See, I'm starting to feel like blogging is making it's way back to it's roots. If you'll remember, back in the old days (like... 5 years ago), blogging was more like online journaling. You wrote about your day, maybe included a photo or two, maybe ranted about the crazy check-out lady at the grocery store. But then, somewhere along the way, blogging turned into this crazy profitable (?) business endeavor. Everyone became a "mommy blogger" or a "fashion blogger" or a "lifestyle blogger". It became "cool" to blog, and everyone jumped on the bandwagon. Soon there were these blog ge…

Link Dump #6

How well do YOU see color? Take this test and find out.

Here's a cool video tutorial on how to give text a cool pattern fill (using Adobe Illustrator).

Love this article on non-paying design clients and when/how/if to give a refund.

A beginner's guide to watercolor painting supplies. In case you wanted to start watercolor painting.

Enter to Win: Original Oil Painting

Today I have a really fun giveaway for you all! One of my sponsors, Sarah, has offered to give one lucky reader a 6x6 inch oil painting that she's done.

She also has an Etsy shop and is willing to give ALL of you a 10% off discount if you use the code DESERTROSE - how cool is that?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Why charging too little makes your items seem cheap.

A common refrain I see across the Etsy forums is, "Why am I not selling? Are my prices too high?" Did you know that a man would never ask that? I have no idea why this is, but women tend to undervalue their work, and the more I learn about this phenomenon, the more it baffles me.

The truth is... pricing low gives off the vibe that your items are cheap, made of cheap materials, possibly knock-offs. Does that sound like the vibe that you want to give off? No, probably not.

But I just do it for fun!
When I hear people say this is, what I really hear them say is... "You should, by necessity, hate your job. And if you love it, you most certainly shouldn't be paid for it." Which is utter rubbish.
What you love to do and being paid for a living don't have to be mutually exclusive things. And why should they be? Life's too short to hate what you do every day.

But no one else is charging very much either!
That's probably true. They also aren't making a p…

Some things I've been pinning lately.