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!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day!

Snow Day!
     Isn't it funny how things work out. Here I was feeling overwhelmed at what I had due and really needed a snowday and voila! I submitted what was due last night by midnight and then slept in today, watched "West Side Story" with my youngest, who had never seen it, and then got started on my homework. I enjoyed this down day in the middle of the week, even though I still spent hours on homework, I feel great! Sometimes the littlest thing can change your whole outlook, isn't that wonderful? In case you need a little something, I'm adding a link to a fun site Build Your Own Kaleidoscope, which is just a gas! I could spend hours there playing with this virtual toy, it is so very cool!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Feeling a little overwhelmed...

Stress Visualization
    Well, I knew it was coming, but I was hoping it wouldn't hit me quite so early. Or maybe my iron is low. Working on multiple assignments and projects already, the pressure is on! I have to remember to focus on learning the concepts, the processes and terms, and not so much on trying to get an "A" in every class. This is so hard for me, even though I seem to go through this every semester. It is the overachiever in me, a first born Sagittarius with ADD. I do not have a scholarship riding on my grades or anything else for that matter. And if I do happen to really get lost in one of my classes, I will take it again, over and over until I get it. So why am I feeling this stress? Time to take some slow deep breaths and exhale even slower. Refocus on what is really important and expel the rest along with my exhaled breaths.

  • Read the assigned pages in each textbook.
  • Take notes on the reading and on the classroom lectures.
  • Work on the assigned exercises, tutorials and research.
  • Understand the key concepts from each lesson.
  • Apply the new concepts.
  • Study for quizzes and tests.
  • Understand the basics of the programs I have to use for each class.
  • Ask questions if certain concepts or directions are not clear to me.
  • Remember how much I love these classes!
Not so important
  • Get 100% on every assignment.
  • Turn in everything on time.
  • Turn in everything.
  • Know how to use all the programs inside and out for my classes.
  • Complete every assignment.
  • Get 100% on every quiz and test.
Reading over my lists...tweaking my lists...reading again...breathing in...exhaling...I feel better. I want to be a web designer. I love my classes. This is where I am meant to be right now.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Anatomy of Type
     What The Font?  I'm talking about typography, type...fonts. You cannot believe the levels of detail, the amount of history and the importance of understanding typography in relation to web design. It is like peeling an onion, with so many layers, each one more fascinating and enlightening than the last. If you have seen the movie "Pleasantville," it is like seeing something in color for the first time. A new awareness is born in you and you can never look at anything in print the same way again. And considering how much of our everyday world has some type of lettering or numbering in it, there is no escaping it. It is an incredible aspect of life that most take for granted and never really notice, outside of the subliminal effects that take place, which in many cases, is the intention. Printed words are used to give us information and the font style of those words is selected to influence our perception of that information. If you understand typography though, you can see that extra subliminal message, like the character "Neo" in the "Matrix" movies, who finally sees through the computer bad guys and just sees their "code." Typography is a powerful tool, even a weapon in the
"The Matrix" bad guys in "code"
right context. The choice of font, or fonts, for a website, is one of the most important, if not thee most important detail. So making a good choice depends on how much you know about typography. And in order to understand typography, you also have to understand the basic principles of design.
     I had no idea. But I find myself loving this subject. I also find that I am guilty of having used some of the most reviled fonts in previous projects! It's a bit embarrassing, kind of like realizing that you spent the day walking around and talking to people you respect and all the while you had a big coffee stain on the middle of your shirt. Or going to the bathroom at a party and seeing a big piece of spinach stuck to one of your front teeth, and knowing that everyone you spoke with got a good look at it too. So how does a font come to be labeled as "bad?" I asked my typography instructor and I looked around online for the answer. There are two main criteria: overused and inappropriate. Comic Sans is at the top of the list. If you want to read more about it, check out this video and this website. I got an inkling of this last semester when my Web Animation instructor threatened to fail anyone who turned anything in that was created with the Comic Sans font. Her reaction to this font was visceral!
Comic Sans, the most "Unwanted" font
Can you imagine someone getting angry, really angry, about a type? My initial reaction was "who cares?" But then I realized that due to my total ignorance of the subject, I didn't understand. I just hate when I do not understand something. And here I want to be a web designer, someone who has to use type and select fonts, font weights, font sizes and font colors as part of the process. I knew then that although the college's Web Developer program does not include Typography I, there was no way I could become a good web designer without a thorough understanding of it.
     So here I am, descending down the rabbit hole, learning about typography, from the very beginning. What an eye opener! I swallowed the red pill and my view of the world will be forever altered. And you know what else? I like those red pills...