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Showing posts from February, 2013

REVIEW: Songza

Have you heard of Songza? I recently discovered this website (they also have an iPhone app) and it's pretty amazing. Basically it knows what day/time it is and recommends playlists for you based on what you might be doing. Monday night? Maybe you need an instrumental playlist with no lyrics to help you study? Friday night? Maybe you need an update dance playlist? You can also search by "popular playlists", artist name, etc. I mainly use it for when I'm studying, for background lyric-less music, but you can also find many Pandora-like playlists on here as well. Anyway, I've been meaning to give a shout-out to this app for awhile, so hope you find it useful!



What I've Watched #6

I was just realizing the other day that it's been awhile since I've reviewed any tv shows/ movies! I do watch things pretty often, if only to relax after a long day's work in the graphics lab. Time to actually review said movies... well, that's a little harder to come by!


Premium RushSpeaking of New York City, Premium Rush definitely makes you feel like you are right in the middle of Manhattan. It follows a day in the life of a New York bike messenger (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who's been given a package to deliver that a mysterious stranger would do anything to get back from him. It's definitely an edge-of-your-seat kind of movie and has absolutely beautiful street views of the city. I loved the storyline and the characters and would definitely watch this one again. The one word of warning I would give is the high level of swearing in this movie.

I give it 4.25 out of 5 stars.



Reality of Love Reality of Love was an very interesting movie that I'm surpr…

REVIEW: iPhone Sleep Apps

I tried an experiment last night with an iPhone app called Sleep 101. It's supposed to be able to tell you how well you're sleeping based on the movement you make during the night. It also has an alarm clock that can wake you up w/in twenty minutes of your alarm by figuring out when you're in the lightest sleep and waking you then.

I'm not entirely sure how well it worked, since it reported that I had 99% efficiency in sleeping last night and I happen to know that I woke up at least 3 times and actually got out of bed once. Not sure how efficient that is. Lol. Still, I thought it was an interesting concept for an app. You put it on the corner of your bed and it uses the gyroscope in the phone to sense movement in the mattress so it can tell how restless you are. It figures if you haven't moved in 5 minutes that you're probably asleep.

Tonight I'm going to try the Sleep Cycle app. It promises to be a little more accurate in the monitoring, and also has a graph…

Reasons Why I (Think I Would) Love New York City

Okay just to clarify... I've never actually been to New York, but... based on extensive research (via YouTube, Google Maps street view, and all of the many, many movies and shows that have been filmed there), I just feel like New York and I would agree with each other.

1. New York seems like a rather personable, friendly town. And by that I mean, strangers walking down the street would actually stop to help you if you needed it. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's the vibe I get.


2. New York seems to have a very creative, anything-is-possible spirit. I don't know if this is because of the pulse and noise of the city or just because creative people tend to move there, but it seems like there'd be a mindset there of creativity and trying new things.

3. New York seems very grounded / here and now / tangible / touchable. Not sure the word I'm looking for there. Basically I mean that it isn't one of those places that you only ever see from the safety of your car (I'…

A Pastel Exercise

Last week we were given a phrase (randomly drawn out of a hat) and were asked to illustrate it in pastels. We were not allowed to use any words in our drawing, and the goal was that 90% of the people who looked at it would be able to get the impression of the meaning of the phrase (if not the exact phrase).

So... here's my pastel composition. I may have to tweak it some more today when we turn it in (our teacher is notorious for saying, "That's great... now just change this and this and this and this..."). Lol.

So the bigger question is... was I successful? Can you tell what this is supposed to be saying?

You know you want to sponsor me!

Just thought I'd share that I have sponsor spots available again! I did the swapping thing for awhile, but that gets very complicated very quickly, so decided to go back to straight up sponsoring. I love posting things for you, but time is money, so I wanted to give you an opportunity to support me in my creative endeavors!

If you're a creative blog or small business, I'd love to help spread the word about you! All sponsor ads are $10 a month and rotate for maximum exposure. I don't like to spam my readers with a million giveaways and "Meet the Sponsor" posts, but if you'd like to write a guest post, that could probably be arranged. ;)

My audience tends to be...
Female, 20s & 30s, typically creative students, entrepreneurs, mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends.

I tend to blog...
Several times a week. Now that I'm in school again, it tends to be less than before, but I do have loyal readers who would love to click on your blog ad!

I like to write …

More Blogging Tips

I recently went on a blog subscribing spree and I discovered something new that REALLY ANNOYS ME on a blog: centering all the text in every post. Just... no... don't do it. Please.

Maybe I wouldn't have noticed it before studying graphic design, but now I know that centering your entire article is a HUGE NO-NO mainly because it taxes your eyes/brain to constantly start a new line in a different place. Your eyes are less stressed if they always know where the new line of text is supposed to begin. Trust me on this.

Centering has it's place... mainly on very formal publications with very little writing on them (say... on a wedding invitation). But on a blog article... this is where you want to left-align everything. Not justified, not right-aligned, not centered... left-aligned. (Justified doesn't really get used much as it causes weird spacing between words, and right-aligned is best used in small chunks for a specific purpose since it also has the problem of not starting…

Sometimes it's good to scare yourself.

There's definitely some truth to this saying. I mean... if you knew you could accomplish your dreams, they wouldn't really be that scary. But if your dreams are big and huge and you have to move out of your comfort zone to accomplish them... that's scary. And let's face it, if your dreams scare you, that probably means they're worth pursuing! (Although if your gut's telling you you shouldn't pursue something... that's probably not fear... that's just wisdom. Listen to your gut.)

But seriously... if your "dreams" are not scaring you... dream bigger. I dream of being a graphic designer living in New York City. That's scary! I have no idea if I can actually do that. But... it's something I want to shoot for, and I'll never know if I could do it if I don't even try, right? I could aim for something easier like... being a designer while living in Portland. I know I can do that. I've lived there before. I know tons of people…

Graphite Leaves

In going through my iPhone to find photos of past projects that I'd forgotten to tell you about, I found a photo of a graphite (pencil) rendering I did of leaves last term. I'm pretty sure I forgot to tell you about this, so wanted to share it now!

This particular assignment was stuffed into finals week last term so was done VERY QUICKLY (like in about 4 hours). Normally I would allow at least 20 or 30 hours for something this detailed, but due to being assigned very close to our due date (giving only about a week's notice) and also having a million other projects due also in that same week, this ended up being a one afternoon project. Despite doing it so quickly though, I was amazed how just remembering to leave highlights and add shadows really made it feel real much more than I would've thought it would've. That's definitely one thing I'm learning in this illustration class... don't forget the highlights and shadows! Those are what give the subject d…

The Bazaar

I unfortunately did not actually sell anything at the bazaar this past weekend. :( It was still a fun experience though, and I might do it again someday. I think if I do do it again, I might try to find a more "cute" product that give people an emotional reaction that they just have to buy! Or I just might stick with Etsy...

Anyway, here's my table. ;)



Pastel Ribbons

We've been working on pastels this past week in my Illustration class. It's super messy and super fun! I feel like I'm a child playing in finger paints. Lol. It basically is like chalk, and you layer on the colors and then blend it with my fingers.

We did several practice pieces, and then did this one based on the same ribbon I did in our technical pen project and our graphite pencil project. It's actually kind of like revisiting an old friend because I know this ribbon so well now! I understand where the shadows are, where the highlights are, which sections are trickier to render so they come across well. I never would've thought drawing/painting the same ribbon over and over and over would be interesting, but it actually is!


And I just realized I never showed you my final stippled ribbon. I'm not even sure I blogged about it, to be honest. Lol. The only photo of it is of when it's about 95% done, so I'll be sure and update you when I get a full pictur…

Simpler Blog Design

You know you're a graphic designer when you can't seem to go a month without giving yourself a new blog design! Lol. Check out my new look!


Besides moving my header to the left column, I also simplified my navigation system (putting most of the relevant links on my About Me page) and added links for my design services and portfolio! If you were looking for a blog makeover of your own... I'm open for business! (hint... hint...) ;-D

Ink Wash

Lest you think that all I do with my days is play The Sims or knit hats... here is a look at one of my current school projects. We're learning how to do ink wash!

It's very similar to watercolor. Basically we dropped different quantities of drawing ink into water to create different darknesses of wash. Then we trace a pencil outline of our composition onto a coldpress board, and fill in the values with the ink wash! It can be a messy process, but overall not as hard as I thought it would be.

Here are some of my practice boards. I'm working on the final composition now and should have it done this coming week!




My First Bazaar

Next weekend I'm doing my first bazaar! My mom and aunt have done them for years, but stopped before I even started with my Etsy shop. This year I had been toying with the idea of doing a bazaar myself, but so many have a rather large entry cost just to set up a table! I finally found one with a low entry cost, so decided to take the jump! :)


Today I spent HOURS organizing and labeling my inventory. Really, I only have about 100 items, so I'm surprised it took so long. Glad I didn't leave it to the last minute!! ;P

I was toying with the idea of putting my shop on "vacation mode" while I am doing the bazaar, but then realized that... hello... I have an iPhone. I can just hop onto my phone and deactivate anything that sells in person (or grab something off my bazaar table if it sells online). How spoiled we are in this era of mobile computing? Lol. Hopefully I'll have a profitable time selling next week! It's all day Saturday... I can't wait!