Tuesday, November 20, 2012

And Yet More Homework.....

Once again Savvy gets drafted to be part of my homework assignment.  We were using the 3D function in Photoshop for this week's lesson.  And I can think of a lot of things down the road (no pun intended!) I can use it for.

Being In The Moment

I am waiting while Photoshop renders a 3D assignment for class.  And it will take awhile it seems.  Actually, it probably wouldn't take so long if I wasn't so impatient and keep poking at it, which makes it stop and have to restart.  Which leads me to the topic of "Mindfulness".

I am intrigued by the whole concept of mindfulness and have done a bit of reading on Buddhism and try to meditate on a regular basis.  In fact, several years ago I took a course on Mindfulness Based Meditation.  My meditation practice however is in line with my dieting practice - almost nonexistant at the moment.

But the idea of 'being in the moment' was a concept which on one level I could acknowledge and understand.  However, it was not something I think I actually experienced.  I have lists, mental, if not physical lists.  And I seem to constantly be going over them in my mind.  (Actually, I don't have a monkey mind - it is more of a gorilla mind.)

And then it happened......I actually experienced being in the moment and I have to thank Texter for it in a way.

This was the scene.  I had gone to measure Texter for her ball gown and since I was only a few minutes from the beach, decided to spend a few minutes on a beautiful fall day, strolling the beach, before heading back on my 2 hour drive home.  Texter and I took one of the dogs and headed for the beach.

Now it was a beautiful day.  Not to cold, sun out, a little windy.  Texter and I were having a pleasant conversation. I was getting a little disgusted that I couldn't find any 'good shells'.  No good shells!  Really? Besides that, ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT WAS ALL THE THINGS I HAD TO DO!

So for about 20 minutes I trudged down the beach, pouting over the shell situation and ignoring everything else around me.  Then it hit me.  I was not in the moment in any form or fashion.  Here was the perfect situation of company and location, and I wasn't mentally there.  I was fretting about things I had no way of doing anything about at that moment and I wasn't enjoying where and when I was.

I suddenly realized what I was doing.  I was doing everything but being in the moment.  I stopped myself and asked myself 'what the heck?' and took a deep breath and made the decision to let everything but the beach, Texter, the 'moment' take over.

And with that decision, I felt about 20 pounds lighter and there were good shells!  

And there was a crab.  Texter and I have a long history with the beach and crabs and it seemed like an omen that after I got into the moment, here on the beach in the fall was a crab about the size of my hand.

So now I know what 'being in the moment' feels like and it is a wonderful feeling.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Call Me Cinder-mother

Yep, that's me....old Cinder-mother.....everyone else gets to go to the ball and I'm sitting at home.  But only after I made the ball gown.  But who can complain as I helped to create this couple.

Texter and Gibbs are ready for the ball.  Picture taken by her father.

When Texter found out 2 months ago there was a ball and knew that she was newly pregnant, there was a dilemma. 

(1) They didn't want to shell out a lot of money for a one-time dress.  
(2) They didn't want to shell out money when saving for the baby.
(3) She didn't know what size she would be.

So, after an hour or so checking out patterns online and armed with Joann Fabric coupons, we set off.  The bodice was from one Burda pattern and the bottom from another.  And Cinder-mother got to put the two of them together to create one dress.

Warning to Self:  Ignore the size on the pattern!  

Luckily, I had this 'feeling' and took it to her a couple of weeks ago, before I sewed the top to the bottom.  Baby Kayden was making her presence known and I had to insert a panel in order to accommodate the hitch hiker.  

Another thing I learned, I really am not wild about Burda patterns. The directions were a bit flaky and I would definitely not recommend them for a novice to sewing.  And you have to go by measurements rather than 'size'.

The fabric was a satiny blue with small glitter flecks in it.  The over fabric is a light blue tissue.  You can see the flecks through the outer covering.  But the bodice is draped and the skirt falls from the empire waist line.

But we got it together and off they went to the ball while Cinder-mother, with a kleenex to her nose, sank into a tub of hot water.  Yep, I was fighting a cold.  Oh, and did I mention I was babysitting dogs...me, 4 cats and 3 dogs.  Wild Saturday night being had here!

So now, I am THROUGH with ball gowns and onto quilts - baby ones mainly.  And a long, long list of quilts I want to make.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Decadent Typography

One of my assignments was to create a frozen treat.  I, having extensive and continuing ice cream experience, figured this would be a snap.  (It was also an excuse to indulge all in the name of homework!)  My idea was an 'adult' line of ice cream based on alcoholic drinks.  So there would be a White Russian, Brandy Alexander, Pina Colada, etc.  You get the idea.

So then this week we had to design a logo based on our new treat.  Here are a couple I came up with.

This was my first design idea.  I liked the 'racy' look of the red and black and thought the reflection added something to the overall design.  

Then I had this idea, if I really wanted rich, luxury, what is more rich and luxurious than gold.

So then came these ideas.....

My favorite so far I think.

And then I went for the intertwined letters.  I need to work on my embossing a bit, there are a few 'dimples', but this was my late, last project I worked on.

I could work for hours on playing with tutorials and then using my images and designs.  Unfortunately, my wrist feels the same way!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Video for Homework

In my class where I am learning Photoshop, we had to do a video this week.  It was suppose to be a 'commercial' of our choosing.  Since I have been walking on the Neuse River Trail near my house and they have done so much work on it recently, I thought I would highlight it.

Actually, they are building a suspension bridge right by my house, I can't wait for it to be finished and I will have literally MILES of paved walkway for the dog and I to walk and bike on.

But it is so beautiful.  And while there are times you are walking behind houses, for the most part, the trail is wooded and lovely.  Where I am getting onto the trail now, there is a dam across the river which I could sit there and listen to the water over the dam for hours.  So I hope you enjoy the video.....

Another Homework Assignment

This week, along with creating a video (which will come later), I had to paint a picture.  Well, actually I had to paint an existing photograph to make it look like a painting.  And I couldn't cheat and use filters. Just me, Photoshop and brushes.

So this was the original picture I started with.


And then, there is my 'painting'.  

Ok, so Monet doesn't have to worry about being kicked out of painting stardom anytime soon, but it was a fun homework assignment.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

To Continue Downton Abbey Fix

To me, BBC does some of the best programming going.  And I am willing to go to the trouble of finding where I can stream online as I have cut the cable cord and it is sometimes hard to watch current episodes.  But Downton Abbey is one of my current TV fixes.  The third season is ending up which means I now have to go find and view online, but it won't happen until December, as November is CRAZY!!!!

But, in the meantime, I have flown through this book to get a similar fix.

At 985 pages, this is a book which would lend itself to an e-reader as you will spend vast amounts of time reading this book.  You literally can't put it down.  So a warning to your wrists.

The book follows the intertwined lives of four different families.  You have your aristocratic Fitzherbert family, the Welsh mining Wiliams, the American Gus Dewar and the Russian Peshkov family.  And boy, do they mix it up.

Starting just prior to World War I, most of the action is set in the Welsh mining region of England.  And from there every one's personal lives get drawn into the world events of the Great War.  Lovers are divided by the war, the noble idea of war is exposed for the falsehood it is in the trenches in France and in England women fight not only the war, but for their rights.

This is only book one in a trilogy.  And it proves out why I really dislike 'series'.  If you get a really good one (like this book) and you get in on the first book, you must silently fume until the next book comes out.  If you come late to the game, then you read like crazy for weeks and are exhausted by the end.  So I am silently fuming, drumming my fingers until the next book comes out.