Thursday, June 23, 2005

now more than ever

I am determined to get Ruby Red up and running. Though The New Job has been both a blessing and a refreshing change of pace (stress-wise), I am still lacking in *cough* $$$.

I'm looking to maybe buy a small house (read: VERY SMALL) in the rural county outside of the city where I work. This is simply not going to happen unless I have extra income.

Besides . . . after tons of real estate ads, my creative juices are dying to get creative again!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

go read this book!

Invitations
by Marc Friedland

I haven't finished it yet, but it's full of wonderful examples and inspirations!

Friday, June 17, 2005

USA TODAY recognizes the small-biz greeting card entrepreneurs

This weekend, USA TODAY's Lorrie Grant brought the story of the upstart greeting card company to the masses. She reported that while card sales have been in somewhat of a slump overall, small and specialty boutique cardmakers have seen continued success by following their individual interests and marketing to others who share that interest.

This is good news for those of us who either are, or intend to, do just that!

Here are a list of websites mentioned in the story:
Lyrics2go
The Message
AnneLisa
Inspirational Arts
Stacy M. Design

Also mentioned, but no address given:
Laugh Lines

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

so i now i want a scanner, please

If there is one thing The New Job is doing for me, it is teaching me fairly rapidly the mundane BUT extremely necessary Photoshop things that somehow I never learned in school, like MASKS and CLIPPING PATHS and how to adjust GRADIENTS.

I know. I know. Shouldn't I have already known this??? Nope! And it hasn't been until recently that I've begun to actually understand the whole way the program works. Once I found out it is based on film developing, the lightbulb clicked on. Ohhhhh! So THAT's what BURN TOOL means. And now I understand why you have to DODGE to lighten things up. (Dodge?? Isn't that what you do when all the faster, more athletic kids in gym class throw those nasty red gym balls at you and when you don't move fast enough the balls bounce off of you with a sickening *pong* sound that reverberated in your ears and turns your cheeks red with shame when you know that you had just been affirmed, once again, as "the easy target.")

In my alma mater's defense, I will point out that I wasn't in the artsy graphic design classes. I learned practical things like how to lay out large portions of text without losing content, and how to recognize Franklin Gothic from a mile away, or what is most important when choosing an opening photograph for a photo-journalism piece. There was no lessons in making TIFFs have "transparent" backgrounds, because, quite frankly, we were supposed to find that out for ourselves. We had a professor who not only encouraged us to be self-starters (after all, that's what the real world requires), but also INSISTED on our ability to learn what we needed through trial and error, one of the surest ways to have how NOT to do things burned into your neural pathways.

Anyway, now I'm learning voraciously on my own, just like I had always been encouraged to do (Thank you, Professor Wong!!!), and it's really paying off. Just the other day, while using the LEVELS ADJUSTMENT LAYER to clean up the colors in a photograph, I proceeded to follow the directions I read in a how-to column. And today I made my very first clipping path, all on my own, by following directions from the COLOR SELECTION advice I read in a book to create a WORK PATH that I could convert to a CLIPPING PATH to make the TIFF "transparent," and, therefore, the logo I was working on could be placed on any colored background, not just white, as it was originally designed to be.

I am on my way to Photoshop guru-ness!!!

So now I want a scanner. Because now I can scan in my sketches and trace them with the PEN TOOL in either Illustrator or Photoshop to make line art out of my designs and get started producing product, already!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

happy birthday to me!

So, 25 years ago, back when the 80s had just begun and Star Wars was the biggest thing since sliced bread, I entered the world, kicking and screaming, and generally trying to get my own way.

I guess some would say not much has changed since then! :)

I can't believe I've already hit the quarter-century mark. To some, I am still a young'en, as they say here in Tennessee. To others, I'm ancient already. I mean, wow! She's twenty-five. She (insert gasp here), used to TIGHT ROLL HER JEANS at one time. She wore those funky sunglasses with the black lenses and frames and neon pink sides. She curled her bangs into a giant pouf on her forehead. Yikes. Like, totally gross! (Uh-huh. Just you wait. What goes around, comes around--heaven forbid!!!)

I'm just hoping that my auto insurance rates go down for when I renew in August.

Anyways, free virtual chocolate cake for all. Eat up!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Two more signs . . .

Seen on a Long John Silvers sign:

Now Hiring
Crabs & Shrimp

Seen on another food store sign (I think it was a grocery store):

Boston Butt
$1.19/lb

Tired

I'm tired. The 1-hr commute is just KILLING me! I get home and have no desire to much of anything but collapse on the couch or go to bed early.

This is not to say that I'm not enjoying The New Job. I actually have begun to feel like an operating part of the team. It's nice not to have to ask my manager "what can I do??" every 30 minutes or so.

I've already learned much about Photoshop that didn't know before, and a few more shortcuts in Quark. Yay, for shortcut keys!!

As for Ruby Red, I feel like it is still there, but almost more of a dream than it was before. I plan on registering my business name and domain name soon, but beyond that I don't think it will be easy to start-up this year. This is discouraging, but not stopping me from trying to continue.

In the meantime, one thing my hour-long commute has done for me is to give me time to relax while listening to the radio, or listen to suspense novels on tape, or continue to play my favorite unconscious "spot the funny sign game". I have already seen two more signs to add to my collection. In fact, it has become such a habit for me, and sort of a stress-reliever, that I'm seriously considering starting a new blog devoted just to my signs.

I'll keep you updated.