Saturday, February 26, 2011

illustrator cd covers

i've moved on to my next class & this one is on adobe illustrator basics. so far, it's pretty difficult. but i'm learning quite a bit and am having fun trying out new things.

i thought i'd share my last assignment with you. i made two cd covers that are part of a series. so here's what i did:

cover 1:

cover 2:

i used my wacom tablet a ton for this project. my eye/hand coordination is improving (slightly). what do you think?

it's raining....dogs?

as i was leaving on my lunch break yesterday, i realized i had left my glasses on my desk. awesome. so i went all the way back up to get them. and as i was walking out to my car a second time, i thought, maybe that happened for a reason....maybe i just avoided a car accident or something. weird. anyway....

i was on my way back to work when i saw this black & white little fluffy dog wandering around. after watching it for a few minutes and seeing that she didn't have a person nearby & didn't seem to know where she was going...i pulled over.

she had a collar, but no tag, and let me approach her. i pet her for a few minutes and the poor thing was shivering and lifting her front paws up one at a time, like the ground was too cold to touch. definitely not built for the alaskan winter.

i debated on picking her up, but didn't want to get my face bitten off in case she freaked out so instead, i led her to my car by her collar. she hopped onto the back seat and sat there staring at me. i looked up the number for animal control and starting driving around our little neighborhood.

lucky for me, this guy was cleaning snow off of his car, and i stopped and asked if he knew the dog. and it was his next door neighbors!! thankfully she was home and fluffy was reunited with her owner.

apparently things happen for a reason. good thing i forgot my glasses.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

caught a bug

i finally came down with a cold, one that i've been fighting for a bit. it's progressed to the works: sore throat, stuffy nose, slight headache, & low fever. hopefully tomorrow will be the day that i start getting better. ugh.

hopefully i'll be back in a couple of days....but in the meantime, check out these fun links:

going to a baby shower? a good gift idea
i love these books
received some of her jewelry for my birthday!
creative? check. handmade? check. awesome? double check.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

birthday weekend

as i've mentioned, my birthday was this past week. it was pretty mellow and according to hubby, i was a bit bummed all week. saturday rolls around and hubby went over to our friend's house to help with some home improvement project, so i ran errands. my friend jamie had made an appointment to get our nails done in the late afternoon, then we would meet up with the husbands and order in some food. i stopped by the art store and picked up some goodies, then visited bella boutique and caught up with my friend annie. i dropped of my art stuff at home and jamie sent me a text to come over & pick her up.

i walked into the house, turned the corner, and.....


i was SHOCKED!
i had no clue they were planning something!

we ate yummy moose's tooth pizza....

and had some awesome chocolate cake. there were hello kitty decorations galore (even hello kitty confetti!) and even the puppies were there.

i couldn't ask for more thoughtful family & friends. it was such a wonderful night :) 29 is gonna be a big year...

*all photos by steve wysong

Friday, February 18, 2011


it's not quite what you think... {and i meant to post this a long time ago}

for christmas, hubby bought me an awesome gift - a wacom bamboo pen & touch tablet:

i finally set it up (which took way less time than i anticipated) and have been tinkering with it often. it is SO AWESOME!! especially since i just started a class on adobe illustrator. the tablet can be used as a track pad or with the pen as a drawing tool - it's so sensitive, it adjusts to pressure as i write, just like a pen/pencil would.

it will take some getting used would think years of playing video games would have helped my eye/hand coordination.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


today is my birthday. and i've reached the last year of my 20's. AAAHH. where did the time go?? this morning my mom asked me if i felt older....and now that i've been thinking about it for a few hours, i do feel older. WAYYY OLDER. ancient, even. okay, maybe not.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


hubby and i switched offices a couple of weeks ago so he could get some peace & quiet downstairs and since i've been working upstairs anyway. he bought me a bookshelf (and put it together) and i moved a bunch of books up into it. as i went through the books, i realized there were quite a few that i haven't read in years; some from college, from high school and even elementary school. i'm now trying to decide if i should keep them or sell/donate them. i've had the itch to clean house lately...

some questions popping up in my head: will i ever read them again? are they good reference material? i already have them, so why get rid of them?

i LIKE my books, even though they haven't had much face time lately. some remind me of the time i spent on guam, others of the friends that gave them to me. kind of the same way a song plays on the radio and you're taken back to some event, big or small, that's stuck with you for years.

so, you bookworms out there, do you keep all of your books? or pass them on? how do you decide what to keep?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

hearts galore

in case you don't know, i love hearts. it's my shape of choice. when i was growing up, my best friend & i signed notes with a heart (me) or a sun (her). we collected things with our "signs". she even got a sun tattoo (don't worry mom, i'm still tattoo free.)

to this day, i still love hearts. (and hello kitty, but that's for another post.) i was perusing etsy and found a few cute cards & prints by letterpress printers. enjoy:

happy valentine's day!!

i know it's a little corny, but i always get a bit excited about valentine's day. even as a little kid...the prospect of a happy surprise or two was on the horizon as the day approached. i remember my first "big" valentine's...i was in 4th grade and a boy named kevin gave me a heart shaped box of chocolates and a poem. i was ecstatic!! as i got older (and full of teenage angst), i went through a "wear black on valentine's day because the holiday is dumb" faze. i crack up just thinking about it.

and now that i'm happily married, i think more about how thankful and lucky i am to have such a great husband. i know that regardless of where we go or what we do, it's always more fun to have him by my side.

a friend asked me the other day "what's the point of valentine's day?" (he wasn't in the greatest mood, either) and i got to thinking about's not so much a day for huge, over the top demonstrations of undying love or a promotion for greeting card companies's about appreciating the people you love: family and friends. hope everyone has a happy valentine's day!

Friday, February 4, 2011

photoshop filters!

since i've been spending lots of time in photoshop, i thought i would share some of my assignments with you. this last assignment involved creating a visitors guide cover for my hometown. i created one for alaska, since most of my pictures weren't specific to anchorage.

after choosing a number of photos, i had to edit them - adjust brightness, sharpen certain areas, smooth other areas, etc - then apply appropriate artistic filters that would showcase the images without going over the top.

bear pic - i wanted it to have a painting type look to it, but still keeping the detail.

rooster pic - i accentuated the edges and made the colors a tad more vibrant, in addition to removing the little signs.

trout pic - i used the cutout filter - which i really love - but toned it down to still show off the color & spots on the trout.

click on the link below the picture (or open in a new tab), then click to zoom in to see a larger version - i couldn't get blogger to upload a larger pic.

what do you think?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

custom heart cards

i had a customer approach me about some small (4 Bar) cards with a heart design during the fall shows and in january, she contacted me about getting some printed.

i had to resize the design she wanted, transfer the design...

and carve a new linoleum block.

i printed a bunch of cards in red. this was the first time i tried printing a linoleum block and letterpress at the same time. i thought it worked out well!

heres an up close pic of the final card:

i'm so glad it's's my favorite month!