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!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Web Design and Organization

One of Anne Taintor's fun pieces!

     I am not very tidy. I never have been, and it is one of those things that has caused me great embarrassment on more than one occasion. I am better now than I was a few years ago, but I still don't have a good handle on home keeping and organization. Don't get me wrong though, I appreciate organization and tidiness. I love coming home to a tidy house and working in a tidy studio. Cooking in an organized kitchen is heaven. But the time it takes to get it all organized and sorted, well, that is just something I have a hard time putting on top of my priority list. I was very hard on myself about all this a few years ago, but I finally accepted myself and my organizational shortcomings. I bring other gifts to the party. My true friends don't judge me based on the tidiness of my home, thank goodness. And my family loves me and accepts me too. But what does this mean in terms of Web Design you ask? Read on...
     Organization is incredibly important in Web Design. Crucial. Programs like Dreamweaver and C# rely on good file organization. Things have to be saved in the same folder within the same file hierarchy every time. You cannot just rearrange documents, folders and files when you have the time. It breaks the paths these programs have created and it causes them to complain and throw out messages letting you know things are "missing," links are "broken" and nothing will work quite right until things are rectified. It is a big drag to say the least. But if you planned ahead, created that first folder in the appropriate place, you would be ahead of the game.
     In order to succeed in Web Design and Web Development, I have to be organized. It has to be a top priority. As I create file hierarchies for my classes, I have to plan ahead, anticipating future files that may need folders. The structure of the folder hierarchies has to make sense now and in the future. No more just saving things on the desktop and then relocating them to a more appropriate location at a later date. Tidiness counts in Web Design. I am adapting to it, soaking it up and trying to apply good organization to all my computer files. My brain is being rewired and I wonder if this will affect other aspects of my life? Can organization and disorganization coexist in the same person's head? It would be nice, but I'm not counting on it. Only time will tell...but if I am blogging about my super tidy studio or house a few years from now, you'll know where it started.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Redesigning my blog...again.

What do YOU love?
     You would think, that with four college classes, three kids at home, a husband and a home to take care of, that I would not have time to mess around with the design of my blog. Well, you would be right and I would just ignore all that stuff and just play to my heart's content. My blog is a work in progress. I like to update it with current details of my life and life around me. But I also update the appearance based on my current interests, skills and the latest technology. I get lazy sometimes and just pick something from the Blogger template designer, like my newest "Valentine" background, with all these hearts. But I also like to adjust the size and layout sometimes, or add new features. From my latest schooling, I know enough to be dangerous, but not enough to really go in there and shake things up, redesign from scratch and create new interactive elements, but soon, soon.
     I think that I will go and play around with my visual journal supplies and create an original Valentine's background to upload. The Valentine bug has bitten me and I won't be happy without hearts all over the place for a few weeks, most of them chocolate. And what's wrong with that? Hearts represent love. All kinds of love. I love myself, the hubby, our children, my parents, my friends, my classes, my church, my reading parlour, my shoes, my cookbooks, my spice cupboard, 80's music, dancing, pansies, old dishes, high tea, white, turquoise blue, our bunny Stella, Downton Abbey (part IV is on this Sunday!), fresh veggies, beach glass, hunting for morels, tools, jewelry, melting glass, grilled cheese sandwiches, the scent of lavender, "The Fencing Master," old mirrors, upcycling, Fustini's balsamics and olive oils, Peruvian blue opal, singing, Texas BBQ, the northern lights, warm socks, flannel pajamas, word games, fresh raspberries and oh, the list goes on...and on...and on...well,  you get the idea. Do you ever make a list of all those things you love? Or things that bring you joy? It feels wonderful to make a list of so many good things. One more thing I love...

Design, Creativity and Wind Power

     My friend Steffanie shared this video with me today. I was so amazed and inspired, I wanted to share it on my blog. The video is less than three minutes long, but if you love this and want to see more of the inventor/artist's work, I did see other videos on youtube. Simple materials, a renewable energy source and creativity, just incredible when it all comes together!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Bump in the Road

     What's this about a bump? Actually, I'm not sure if it is a little inconsequential bump or if it is an ice berg kind of bump, with a lot more hidden beneath the surface. But while I'm waiting to find out just how big this particular bump actually is (this is not a reference to a lump,tumor or growth), I'm worried. And when I'm worried, I'm distracted and my stomach feels like it is in knots. I really don't enjoy this (like anyone I know enjoys being worried). I'm trying to find a way to keep my head in a  level and calm space. But it's proving to be difficult, very difficult. I have old behavior patterns that want to barge in and make themselves at home again. Unwelcome mental and emotional house guests I tell you. In the past, I would hyper focus on things, worry non-stop and let everything else go.There was such a lack of balance in my life. Luckily, I found a way out of that old way and I have been so much healthier and happier over the past few years. But I guess I haven't had anything major come along in quite a while that has pushed me like this. So I am taking deep breaths, exhaling slowly and reminding myself that going back to the old way will not solve anything. It will not make me feel better. It will not be healthy in any way, shape or form. What do I need to do?
     I need to think positive. I need to live in this moment and focus on what is happening right now. Be present, be present, be present. Do what I can with the resources I have. Be proactive and keep it all in perspective. I don't know what is going to happen with this bump, but I do know that I do not have any control over it right now. I have to accept this fact and not neglect all the other things going on in my life right now. It is going to be what it is going to be. Surrender. Breathe. Think light.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Favorite Movie

     Thinking about one of my favorite movies today. One I haven't seen in a long time. "Impromptu," with Judy Davis, Hugh Grant and Mandy Patinkin. The first time I saw it, I was just enthralled! Loved the story, loved the acting and I am a sucker for British period pieces. Then I found out it was based on an actual story, I was really intrigued. Judy Davis was just incredible as Madame George Sand. I intended to find a biography on her at some point, but have not gotten around to it. Not high enough on the ol' priority list, apparently. Hugh plays a very sickly yet supremely talented Chopin, the pianist. George falls for Chopin through his music and is relentless in her pursuit of him. But there are twists and turns along the way. Oh, the whole thing is such a soap opera, but so well done, it is one of my favorite movies. I won't give it all away, but you can find the story by just googling it if you are really curious. I plan on getting it soon, in time to watch before Valentine's Day. It's been too long. Maybe I'll even track it down and try to add it to my DVD library, who knows. But definitely worth watching if you haven't seen it before.
p.s. The heart displayed was created in Photoshop CS4.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Too Early for Valentine's?

Valentine ATC
     With most of my homework finished, I had some time to play with photoshop and create a new digital ATC. My mom and I have a thing for hearts, so this holiday always has a lot of meaning for me and all the hearts make me think of my mom. I'll have to make another ATC just for her with lots of red, her current favorite color. Perfect for the holiday, too. This was created with several photoshop brushes and a couple of my own photographic images. I dropped the opacity on one image to let the other details in the background show through. I placed a color overlay effect over the other image, the blue flower, which I duplicated a couple times. Photoshop is so much fun, I do hope to take the Photoshop II class someday, or maybe I'll just work through the other half of my Photoshop Classroom in a Book.

     I should mention that if it were not for the current weather conditions, I would probably have been out and about today and yesterday. But it has been close to 0 degrees and windy, so the windchill is well below zero, no thanks. I'd rather stay home, in front of a lovely fire, enjoy the fabulous brownies my daughter made, and cocoon with my family. And I also get to play Scrabble and Lexulous online with my Facebook friends, my biggest guilty pleasure. I am addicted to word games. However, my family refuses to play with me. I feel like a junkie sometimes, I need my word games, need! If you are one of my Facebook friends and like to play, I'm always up for a new game...
And just for the record, I feel creative and I feel wonderful!