Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mayan apocalypse- remember Y2K?

There is all this bunk about the Mayan calendar ending in December of 2012, and therefore the world will end in a fiery ball of wonder.
I say BAH! First off:
How the heck did those Mayans know about the roman calendar anyway? Do they count Leap years?
Second off:
What do you do with your old calendars when the date runs out on December 31st?
Third off:
Remember all the hubbub of Y2K? Yeah? Really?

Again I say -BAH!
I truly think that we will wake up in January of 2013 and start it all over.

Design site worth looking at today

In my wild ramblings across the web, I come across some interesting learning sites upon occasion. One of them is this one: http://tympanus.net/codrops/
Interesting design. I LOVE the blue background and the way the art at the top is angled for links to blog, and social media sites.

Friday, December 16, 2011

winter time business or is it busy-ness?

I've been incredibly busy since the onset of December. Since Iv'e been finishing up the fall semester at Ivy Tech Community college in Indianapolis, There are of course those dreaded finals. Part of that responsibility was an online portfolio site for myself. Ohhh. Really? Do work for myself? Wow. That threw me. I always have at least a glimmer of an idea when working up something for a client. In fact, I usually have an overflow of ideas, but when thinking of something for myself I was at somewhat of a loss. What do I like? How should I portray myself? OMFG! I've got to edit 20years work of design work and decide what the heck to post! After taking a good hard look at what I've had stored, I found a few more recent pieces to showcase, but by NO means all of my compiled work. This will be an ongoing effort.
You can see the results of this week of cramming for a final project here. I've also created a website for my friend, Lee Ann Hutson, and her business Always Laugh Creations.
She and her husband, Daryl, are entrepreneurs who also happen to drive my children to school. She's an amazing basket maker and creates some of the most delicious smelling soy candles I've ever had the pleasure of being around. My favorite is Hillbilly homebrew!
I serve on a local non-profit board for the Montgomery County Leadership Academy. Part of that responsibility has been to update the current website for this tiny non-profit. This has given me the opportunity to use my newly honed dreamweaver skills on their website too. All this on top of getting ready for the holiday season has been keeping me extremely busy. Now... back to knitting.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Travel time

My husband is preparing for another travel adventure, this time to Olive Branch, Mississippi. He won't be too far from Memphis, TN and our friends John and Maria Flora, whom are just across the Arkansas border near Memphis. He's already spied out a Cigar bar In Memphis to visit. This is a new fascination for him and I'm sure he'll report back if it's any good.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Exposure 2011 | Lauri Shillings

Hey, do me a solid and check out my photography submission for Artists Wanted photography competition. Click the "LIKE" or "VOTE" button to give me a shot at winning "major awards!"
It wont hurt, I promise.
Exposure 2011 | Lauri Shillings

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Client Love!

I've recently finished a website redesign for a client in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Myshka Chiropractic came to me by word of mouth recommendation. Her previous website was not very user friendly, was bogged down with repetitive information and endless links to the many pages that could be condensed into a smaller framework. The graphics were outdated and huge. My revamped site can be seen here. The client, Susan Myshka, Was overjoyed with the results and quote, "I've been waiting for someone like you to come along and make it all better!" Thanks Susan. I'm happy to help.
If I can help you with any of your website needs, just drop me a line here, or visit my business site at Piratesmilemedia.com

Monday, November 7, 2011

better product photography

I've been working at increasing my photography skills. I think I've got a pretty good eye for photography, but I'm always looking for ways to increase the 'technical' side of the business. You know, like, studio lighting, light boxes, camera settings and the like. I've even gone so far as to take a photography class in indianapolis. I already knew most of what they had taught, but you pick up a few tidbits. so anyway, I made my own small lightbox out of remnant materials laying around the house, (my finished product looks SORTA like this but nearly as cool) a wooden frame, white freezer paper for a background. The only purchase was an under the counter type of fluorescent light fixture that I mounted to the wooden frame. Plug the whole mess in and TaDa- you've got a countertop light box. I'm not saying it's the best thing. But it seems to work. I think I'm really going to have to add 2 side lights for it to be the 'greatest'. But for now, the overhead bar of light works. anyway, My ETSY account always has nifty blurbs about product photography. Here's the latest helpful how to video they've posted.

Great Product Photos from Etsy Inc. on Vimeo.

If Product photography is too tame, You can start to think like a sports photographer. I know from experience there is nothing worse on the front page of your newspaper than a TER-RI-BLE wet, dark, red eyed water monster known as a young swimming athlete that appears to be mucking around in a swamp.. but it happens. My friend, Ed Henninger offers a link for better sports photography tips here.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

James Ross Shillings

I've been spending quite a bit of time in Hendrick's County Regional Health this week.
A great man in our life is critically ill. Papaw Shillings is fighting the good fight to stay with us and may not win the war. He's a World War II Veteran with the 8th infantry. He's earned a purple heart for his effort. A humble and steady man to all who know him. He's a treasure we are trying to keep close to us.
This picture is truly iconic. He's got a gravelly voice from drinking too much coffee and smoking too many cigarettes. A unique tone that is low, remembered and respected. He's also known as a superb gardener. He's not had the energy to garden this year for the first time ever, a real indication of his declining health. He was raised during the depression, the youngest of 9 siblings, and the last of his clan. He was known to sneak an extra biscuit at breakfast and hide it under the table for later, just so he'd have some supper. We're all rooting for you Papaw. ______________________________ Update: James "Jim" Ross Shillings passed away just after 3 a.m. on September 11, 2011. He will be sorely missed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Words with friends

Words with friends
If you have an iPhone you know there are literally thousands of apps
to choose from for your personal entertainment device. I have to admit
I have quite a few of those apps downloaded onto my phone. I'm
notoriously cheap, however, so nearly all of them are of the free
I have only one app that I've paid for the full un-advertising laden
version. Yes, I'm addicted to 'Words with friends'. It's a scrabble
based game you can play long distance.
So, if you need to find me, add me to your Words with Friends
challenge list!

Lauri Shillings

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I've been MIA...

hmmm. Seems like only yesterday I was all gung-ho on making my blog so incredibly up to date. Well that went to hell pretty quick didn't it?
so... A month has passed. Since I've last inspired you with my great postings, I've greeted a new logo and branding package for a local business called "MIGHTY DOGS". Located at 127 E. Main, Crawforsville, IN. The whole concept would be great hotdogs from around the nation all under one roof. So imagine you've been to chicago, you go see a cubby game. You get a hot dog... OH MAN! That must have been the best hotdog you've ever had!!! Well, at MIGHTY DOGS you can get the EXACT. SAME. HOT. DOG. No kidding. Same Vienna beef frank, same poppy seed bun, awesome relish, peppers, mustard, dill spear and tomato. No joke. This guy has a great idea going on here. Several regional favorites from around the nation, the chicago dog being just one. You get a dog, and a side for under a fiver. Can you say GREAT!

Anyway, here's the logo I make for MIGHTY DOGS.

and here's the BW version for printing purposes, cause newspapers aren't all color you know.

I also made a menu for MIGHTY DOGS. This was a full scale new business special. I've got table toppers, signage, letterhead, business cards... EVERYTHING for a new business... it's a great deal for the money. It's very helpful that my client is super excited and motivated about promoting his business.

MIGHTY DOGS grand opening flyer was distributed 1 week prior to the opening. There were people lined up around the block for the first day! Most impressive for Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Can't wait to see what the future holds for this entrepreneur.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

unleashing college student buying power

well, I've officially committed to becoming a college student after the age of 40. I had my first classes this week. one is "how to be a great student" required for anyone who has to take a brush up course. (sadly, 20+ years out of school has left me *ehem* lacking in my math). Second one is intro to algebra. Third is Art History.

While purchasing the overpriced books for said classes, I discovered that Financial Aid is a marvelous thing. It pays for EVERYTHING in the bookstore. Did I mention that they had Vera Bradly bags there???? HA ha ha.... No. I didn't get a bag. Wasn't even tempted because:
Yes boys and girls, I scored a bamboo pen and touch tablet! available from Wacom. Get yours here.

yes, I fell for it immediately. Like some lonely sucker at the animal welfare, I adopted a black one!

my first clumsy attempts at using the pressure pen are shown below.
I expect great reviews from my critics.

here's the original picture

Here's what it looks like after I have spent approximately 3 minutes messing around with my pen without reading any instructions because I'm too impatient to do so:


Monday, May 16, 2011

Newspaper design

While at John and Maria's house, we sat down for morning coffee and opened the local newspaper, the Jonesboro Sun. I knew that fellow blogger, Ed Henninger, had a hand in it's redesign a few years ago and I caught a few details in this paper that threw me. I know Ed's style, and what he would normally do with certain design elements. But I also know what he would NOT have done.
This is something Ed would NOT have done... It's a simple thing, this tiny square dot on the folio line... but he would never have left it on the base line. It doesn't make any sense. He would have centered it with the text vertically, or taken it off all together.

So I questioned Maria, who works at the Sun.... she wasn't clear on who's decision it was to leave this detail that way. To clear it up I got Ed on the phone who assured me that it was a design "leftover" from someone at the paper.. not his doing.

I knew it.

Outdoors on Crowley's Ridge

Just a few quick shots of some of the flora and fauna at John and Maria's house

vintage coffee delight

Morning coffee was delicious at John and Maria's house. Made even more so when it's served in a vintage cup, on a saucer! (with Baileys) Mmmmm

visiting the neighbors

While at John and Maria's, we strolled over to visit their closest neighbor. They have a small young man who loved his boots. He also seemed to love John, or at least his cool arsenal of wheeled stuff in the garage. He begged and begged to get on the lawn mower, the motorcycle and anything else that might start up and run off with him. I believe the boys' name was Jackson... but I can't be sure. He was so excited to see John he was dancing side to side in hopes he would get a ride on the mower.

It's on Faaaahr.

Ohhh! John's burning stuff.

John and Maria!

John and Maria are the very best photographers I know. Their years of experience are worth tapping into. John and I carried our cameras around all over the place. Here's a weird angle of John I took when he was lighting the leaves on fire in his burn pile.

John and Maria!

The second weekend in April I finally got to go see my bestest friends John and Maria in Arkansas!
Here's a shot of Me showing off my new Mac that I got for my birthday to Maria. I'm showing here family photos.
John's taking the pic with my camera, using a wide angle lens.... Which I desperately want to have for my own. **sigh** one day.
I'm gonna burn through the Germann U-boat exhibit at the museum of science and industry... I know, I know.. this was the 'best' part according to my trusted source, John, but I really can't stand modern military history. The only cool part for me at this exhibit were the PR posters promoting local women and men to promote and support the war effort.... Sorry...... I liked the storm exhibit the best :)
The only thing that was really cool about this was how they 'built' this huge amphitheater around this submarine. the time lapse video was great.

Jim and the boys checking out the anchor for the uboat

here's a view from the front of the Uboat

Here's the plaque that tells about the nazi war flag

Here's the nazi war flag that was on the Uboat. The only reason I took this pic was 'cause my friend John collects Nazi memorabilia.

Jacob looking through a periscope.

Judd looking through a periscope.

different photography styles

I recently took a "Chimpsy" photography class In Indianapolis that emphasized the power of "Thirds". I had realized this long before this class, but here's a perfect example.
Notice the picture of Jim and the boys. This is how I take a picture. tight framing of the faces, off center, something in the background that gives you an idea of what is going on in the picture.

Now look at the picture of me and the boys. This is habitually how Jim takes snapshots. me, the kids, centered, usually too much leg, and thankfully, I've kept him from cutting off my head entirely. Not a bad snapshot, but just an example of centering your subject. Not as interesting or pleasing to the eye as the other photo.

Jim knows I give him a hard time about cutting off my head when he's taking pictures of me and the boys, he's done it for years. I think I've finally broke him of it.


Here's Jim at the Museum. I can't tell you how much I love this man. He fascinates and frustrates me all at the same time. I suppose with my personality, that's just what I need. If things were simple, or easy all the time- what would be the challenge?

Trains, trains, trains

Judd and Jacob enjoyed the train display at the Museum of Science and Industry. I'm not so big on trains, but since we took the Amtrak to Chicago, the boys seemed keen on checking them out. I admit I do like climbing all over stuff at museums. Mostly to alleviate the boredom.
I would much rather walk around and take pictures of people doing stuff.

Grow your own corn!

Having been raised in the midwest corn belt, I laughed heartily at the quarter vending machine that was stashed in the corner of the agriculture exhibit of the Museum of Science and Industry. I couldn't fathom spending 25¢ on a tiny handful of corn kernels. You see, we can just walk along nearly any county road in Indiana during harvest season and get 5 gallon buckets of the stuff off the roadways for free. The grain haulers inevitably overload their wagons and spill it willy nilly all over the place.

the power of water and light

In the Science of Storms exhibit, there was a section that had three spotlights on the floor. These spotlights were not ordinary. There were concentric rings of light bouncing endlessly in a repetitive pattern. I couldn't understand how they got the lights to 'dance' like that. I looked up and understood then. They had pushed their lighting through a clear tray of water that had divisions in strategic places so you could understand how 'waves' or vibrations were affected by the placement of land masses. A slow drip of water into the trays provided the ripples of light movement. It was beautiful.

I'm looking at this and thinking: Am I the only one that thinks this would be really, really cool to have in a house? Use it as an art piece some how in an open area? or in a garden seating area?