About Me

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I am a multifaceted woman, living with intention and passion. I always see the glass as half full (ok, almost always). Currently into: jewelry design, glass beadmaking (aka lampworking), visual journaling, cooking and web design everything. Things that bring me great joy: my family, friends, Scrabble, British period pieces, Shabby Chic, Austin, TX, mini art tiles, autographed cookbooks, chocolate, Chianti, pedicures and beach glass. I don't "do" and/or dig: dishonesty, guilt, intolerance, unkindness, drama and goat cheese (it's a long story, but I love all the other cheeses!) So you now have a teeny tiny little picture of me, with a few warts thrown in. Welcome to my world!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Drive by posting

     If you have any time to fool around or happen to be curious about the current "mood" of the world, you have to check out this cool website, very easy and interactive. You can just click on the screen and find emotions, or choose a particular emotion from the top menu and add a location and date too, or you can click on the menu on the lower left and see interesting trends. This is one of the coolest interactive sites I've ever visited. I have it on my favorite links now as well. These kind of discoveries make me so happy and inspire me. I want to build cool sites like this someday! And how am I feeling? I feel fabulous!!!

College Day 2!


     I had my first Typography I class this morning, bright and early at 8 a.m. If you know me at all, you know this was very difficult for me, since I am not a morning person, I'm barely an afternoon person for that matter. But I am trying to retrain my brain and hopefully one day, I will be an early bird. I have read about body clocks and about being born wired a certain way, but I refuse to accept it. I am so much more productive on those days when I am up early, for whatever reason, and I love that feeling of accomplishment, especially when it isn't even noon and I've already completed several projects or chores. But I digress. 
     I LOVE this class! The instructor is very passionate about type, it's history and all the design possibilities connected to type, both print and digital. I thought this class would be all book learning, but we will be working on projects and presentations throughout the semester, I am sooo geeked! As a passionate wannabe web designer/developer, I think understanding type is so important. It can relay information AND design at the same time, how cool is that? But, for those who don't already know, what makes type more readable in print does not pertain to screens. Serif fonts, like "Times" and "Georgia," are great for print media. However, sans serif fonts, like "Verdana" and "Arial" are much more readable on a screen. Conversely, when you are creating a bold headline it is the opposite for both. How bizarre is that? And, the leading, which is the space between the letters of a word, has to be increased for screen print. And there's more, so much more, but I am just learning myself and don't want to get carried away here when I still have so much to learn. But I think it is easy to see why a good understanding of type and fonts is crucial to the creation of any good web design that incorporates any kind of type.
     I feel so lucky to be on this road to web design. My husband has been so supportive along with my parents and my friends. Sometimes I feel like I could just burst apart at the seams, I am so full of joyfulness and thanks. Oh, it is so good to be alive!

This is our textbook for the class, but anyone interested in typography would enjoy this and should have it as a reference tool. 

"Potential" Digital ATC

Potential ATC 2011
     The day started with a bit of anxious insomnia, but that was to be expected. I was still up and raring to go at 7:15 a.m. I left early to get my books, and holy moly, my C#, aka C sharp, book is the size of a metropolitan area phone book! Only slightly intimidating...and of course it was full price being new, as were all my books, sheesh, no breaks this year. I meant to order them all on Amazon, but ran out of time. Live and learn, again.
     It was nice to have just one class today, especially considering that it was my C# class. The instructor is very knowledgeable and has a great syllabus along with a solid timeline for the class. I enjoyed it, even though I am so taken aback with the size of the text. Overall though, I think this is going to be a great class, learning to write programs in C#, using Microsoft Visual Studio. I'll keep you posted...
     I actually had time to create an ATC tonight. Using Photoshop, I  built it in layers, using several brushes along the way. I made my virtual stitches blurry somehow, so I will have to go back in and figure out what I did and undo it. Troubleshooting is a good thing though, I need lots of experience.
     Can't wait for my new classes tomorrow, so exciting!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Last Day of Winter Break

     Well, it has been basically a month since the fall semester ended, the spring semester starts up tomorrow. I enjoyed my break immensely. There was lots of quality family time, visiting and catching up with friends, "doing" the Christmas and New Year's holidays, creating art, cooking, reading, organizing, cleaning and keeping my blog updated often. I felt all the tension leave my shoulders and upper back shortly after Christmas, when I really had no serious commitments left or due dates looming. But as I sit here typing, taking a break from one last home project that must be finished today, I feel those butterflies returning to my stomach. I don't carry them around all the time, just in the beginning, before I've gotten the syllabuses and heard what the instructors will be requiring for my new classes.
     I actually did very well last semester, grade-wise, I got a 4.0, and made the part time Dean's list for a third semester, though I can say I've never gotten a 4.0 before, at least not since high school. Even my college career at CMU never included a 4.0 semester. But I worked very hard for those grades, made a lot of sacrifices because I wanted to understand the materials, programs and concepts well enough to show someone else, which I have always believed to be the true measure of "learning," the ability to teach it to someone else. Dreamweaver is the only problem. I got a 4.0, but learned hardly anything that I did not teach myself in that "Web Design I" class. What a mess it was, I'm still lamenting over the money and time I wasted by taking that class. I did complain, but there was nothing that could be done. I bought a Dreamweaver CS4, "Classroom in a Book," publication and had planned to go through it over the break and teach myself. However, I found that I needed  serious down time. I needed to recharge and reconnect with family and friends more than anything else. So now I will take my Dreamweaver book with me to class, and in between classes, I will go chapter by chapter and teach myself Dreamweaver this semester, bit by bit.
     I believe that if you want something badly enough, you have to just go get it and not let a bad experience keep you from achieving your goals. In the past, I would have felt like I was the problem, incapable of learning the complexities of the program, but luckily, with the passing of the years, has come real wisdom and insight. I can actually see where the real problem is, assess my own abilities and limitations and rework my plan to get what I need. Sadly, I watched many of my classmates, most of them just out of high school, struggle and eventually give up on that class. I showed anyone who asked or who I sat near, whatever I could to help them, but there was so much we didn't learn, it was frustrating for everyone. But as I've said before, I'm on a mission. I want this more than I've wanted anything for a very long time. I want to work as a web developer, comfortable with the coding side and design side, for the rest of my life, as a career, as a way to make a living. So I'm dedicated to this mission, extremely focused and will not be deterred by any obstacles, whether they are external or of my own making. I have to add that I am so passionate about this area, I have loved everything I have learned to date and cannot wait to learn the rest! Bring it, BRING IT!!!!