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?

Installation display

Being a graphic designer is great.... but I was once a 'merchandising supervisor' for JCPenney. meaning: I made all the table scapes of neatly folded clothes, dressed and placed mannequins and window displays, as well as signage throughout the local Penney's store. I'm appreciative of what it takes to make a store, or museum as the case is here, look 'good'.

I was drawn to the frosted glass signage throughout the entire museum. The glass had informative text and graphics so you could learn the obvious information about each exhibit- but the secondary bonus to the signage is the visual impact it has in the dim lighting: the ability to see through it- letting you view things mostly unimpeded by the sign itself. There is the most impressive thing I noticed is the shadows the signs threw on the floor. I found it beautiful.

science of storms

There was a display about avalanche science at the museum. This is a photo of a giant spinning disk that was angled toward the viewer. Imagine an inverted frisbee that's 15 foot wide leaning against the wall. Now spin it.... most impressive. Filling this giant frisbee like disk was garnet sand and some smaller, lighter sand for contrast. It was mesmerizing to watch it spin. The effect is like a constantly drifting sand dune. Made out of garnet. beautiful to watch the patterns appear.

Getting there

There was lots to see and do at the Museum of Science and Industry. There's a predominant display of Train history, Airplanes and a newer section entitled science of storms.

The museum of Science and Industry

We went to Chicago the first week of April. In a whirlwind tour of a freezing, foggy town- we tried our best to see as much as possible in 24 hours. Whew!

We visited the museum of Science and industry on day 2 of our tour of Chicago. The taxi ride there was so frantic. Almost scary fast as we whizzed by traffic going 70MPH in a 50 zone. Slamming on brakes to avoid slower traffic. The museum foot traffic wasn't terrible. but busy enough.

Catching up

Well, I realize I've been a bit lax with posting... I've been on walk-about. Nuff said.

I'll start by catching you up on the month of April ok?