Friday, January 30

Polar Bear Plunge

One of the branch managers at our Saint Louis branch, Bill Hohmeier, is taking the Polar Bear Plunge! To raise money for the Special Olympics a bunch of crazy guys are getting together to jump in a local lake in the freezing cold winter weather on February 7th. I have added the widget just to the left if any of you can spare a few dollars for a wonderful cause. Unfortunately times are tough and I can't afford even that right now, so I'm trying to help out by doing the next best thing - Spreading the word!

Here is a personal message from Bill Hohmeier:

"Hi family and friends, hope you can help out. I am part of a small group that will take a plunge into Lake St. Louis on February 7th (rain, snow, ice or sun - I am hoping for sun).

Be a fan of excitement, chills and goodwill: Support my Polar Bear Plunge!

Thank you for visiting my fundraising page. Donating through this site is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to donate to me, so please donate now! Many thanks for your support. About the Polar Bear Plunge:
This "unbearable" event is a unique opportunity for individuals, businesses and organizations to support local Special Olympics athletes by jumping, diving or crawling into the sparkling, frigid waters of Missouri. Since its inception 14 years ago, 8,527 Missourians have taken the plunge in lakes across the state, raising $1,853,751. If you're too chicken to make the splash yourself, please be a fan by making a pledge to me!

Thank you for being a fan.

Bill Hohmeier"




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Thursday, January 29

He's gonna lose it

Ashton Kutcher took this video with his phone at 7:30 am this morning. He's gonna lose it! haha

Beware: Ashton uses foul language in this video, so don't watch with little one's around!





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Tuesday, January 27

Pause for Paws

Or, rather "Give Pause for Paws"...

I took my ten thumbnails (See post here.) from my Typography class and began anew. You see, our assignment description actually asked that we design a poster for a cause. I spent a few hours browsing the internet hoping something would jump out and me and get my creative juices flowing. However, I couldn't think of anything. So, I then began focusing on letters that would be interesting bleeding off the page as the assignment required. I decided "G" was a fun one. Then, I ran across my art supply catalog and jumped in designing with the phrase "Gallery of Art." I knew full well that I would have to change it later. Later being today.

I spent another hour or two trying to find causes that began with a "G." I asked suggestions from my parents who thought of Government, Greenhouse Effect, and Matt and I came up with a few others. However, none of them seemed to fit with the fonts and layout designs that I already had set up. I didn't want to have to start completely from scratch. Then, I began looking for causes starting with giving and gold. At some point I came across a link referring to their pet. I immediately thought of Sugar, my adopted dog as a young girl. We adopted Sugar from a shelter called "Pause for Paws." I have always loved that name and decided to tweak it a bit to begin with a "G."

Here's the result of my poster design and thought process (I know, scary stuff... huh?):

This is merely my first draft. I still have a chance to make corrections. Any comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Thank you!







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Monday, January 26

New SpringWidget - RSS Feed

For those of you using SpringWidgets; I have developed the following RSS feed widget for my blog. Simply click the small green icon on the bottom left to add this to your widgets.


Yes! Is IS as simple as that...


Visit the Widget Gallery

Saturday, January 24

Typography

I have just finished my second week in my Typography class. It's going well and I'm enjoying the work so far. These classes always gets more fun as the weeks progress. I have three assignments due each week; first are ten thumbnails coinciding with the particular project speculations, then we have a rough draft of one and a final draft.

Here is my final draft from the first week. It is a couple of words including any serif and sans serif font and labels the anatomy of type.












Instructor Feedback: Carol Clemente-Ferrazzano 23 Jan 09 7:59 PM MST

Sara's design is a class act that works solely and successfully with type. She utilizes black ink to enhance the style of the serif and sans serif typefaces. The diagram labels are informative and clear.


For next week we had to submit ten thumbnails for a poster type design and enlarge the first letter to bleed off of the page. We were also only allowed to use one color. The negative space is supposed to cause visual confusion in some cases. Below are my ten thumbnails for next week's projects. There are a few that I do not like at all, but it was tough to come up with ten different designs, so a few are just thrown together. (Hey, ideas count as ideas - good or not! :o} )











































Please help me by letting me know which one or two are your favorite and maybe even why you think it is that it appeals to you.



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Thursday, January 22

New Blog Design

I decided to tackle creating my very first layout. I took the background picture from my old layout and created a very basic background consisting of the tank, maroon, and a bit of white to begin from scratch. I got the rest of the pictures from a few different digital scrapbooking sites to create some flair. I created the monogram "b" using a gold square, green circle, and bright rainbow colored b.

Like someone not famous enough to remember their name said, "We live. We die. Everything in between can be fixed with Photoshop!"

hehe

I hope you like the new design! Let me know what you think...

Here's a screenie of my old old blog design:



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Signature Test

Just testing my new signature.



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Wednesday, January 21

My very first digital portrait




My very first attempt at a digital portrait. Unfortunately, I ran out of ink with lots of touch ups left unattended to. :o( Oh well, I enjoyed drawing what I was able to finish. Thank you in advance for any helpful criticism!

Tuesday, January 20

Blank Checks

Well, I still have footballs to finish, but I had another project request this morning and I thought it would be a nice break. I was asked to handwrite on these large cardboard checks to be given out at the same meeting as the footballs. Sealants is our distributor of supplies to all of our branches across the U.S. They work out of the warehouse downstairs. Here are some video and pictures of the five checks I was asked to write out:

By the way, I did not use any stencils or pencils marks (except for the guidelines). Going from a smooth leather autograph football to a bumpy cardboard surface was a bit awkward, but I had fun with the lettering.


Yes, this was the last one I did of the five, and I forgot "to" in "Pay TO the order of" Ooops! Brilliant... (At least it was on the cardboard, and not on the $40 footballs.)

It was a nice change of pace, though I wish the person I was doing them for would have make the entire check a white surface. It would look a lot nicer. This is what you get for a cheap, last-minute idea. Oh well... I enjoyed making them anyway, hopefully they like receiving them and aren't too busy laughing at their silliness to notice all the work I put into them.



Think they'd notice if I snuck one in with my name on it and a few thousand dollars? Just a few, that's all...

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Monday, January 19

Super Bowl

Well, those of you who know me - already know this has absolutely nothing to do with the actual sport; sorry fellas. However, it does involve footballs.

You see, our company's Chairman of the Board always said that he wanted to see us have a "super bowl year." Well, in 2006 we beat our record profit since we were established in 1915. (We have also beat that record in 2007 and again in 2008.) Word spread throughout our company that we were, in fact, having a "super bowl year."

The Director of Business Development (my boss) decided that he would like to purchase some footballs and give it to the branches that reached and/or exceeded their marketing goals for that year, which includes profit. I was asked to handwrite on each of the twenty or so footballs that would be handed out as a surprise award during an upcoming meeting. I agreed, ordered some paint markers, and once my boss purchased every NFL football nearby, I got to work.

Each football consisted of three lines of text. I began by writing the text out on paper, cutting that out in a block, taping it to the football (just below where I would write) to use as a guide when I wrote with the paint on the football.

Each football costs more than $40, and I had just enough for each branch receiving an award, so there was no room for error. I had to really concentrate and take my time on each letter. Plus, I have a love-hate relationship with those paint markers. They are amazing and SO fun to use, but they SUCK if you ever want to go over any place where the paint has already been applied, which I did everywhere. It tends to pick the paint up, rather than apply more. We also had some issues with a few that we did in gold paint marker. Because it ended up being such a pain the last few years, my boss requested that I simply use a Sharpie black marker on them all this year, which I was pleased about.

Well, these footballs were very well received. Everyone was raving about them. My boss coined my writing as the "Sara Font" years ago and now it can be seen on many projects. I often get requests for handwritten projects. In fact, every label sent out of my department is handwritten by myself.

But, I digress...

Because the footballs were so well liked by everyone I was asked to do them last year, and again this year. I began working on them this morning and have completed three of the 20 so far.

Here is what I have completed:

Actually, I've finished a total of five (including time for lunch) as I'm about to post this, so only 15 more to go.... *sigh*

I'll let you know when I finish them all.


[EDIT: Well, I did it... I finished all 20 footballs in two days! Now I'm heading for the closest bar to celebrate with a few tasty drinks.

No... wait, actually I have to drive an hour to get home, greet my family, eat dinner, put the boys to bed, and then do HOMEWORK! Yeah, it was a fun thought anyway...]


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Friday, January 16

Read no further if your name ends in "il" and starts with "G"

Okay so Dad's birthday is around the corner. (Luckily he doesn't read this blog... and Dad - in case you do stumble across this page for some reason... go to some other page, 'cause this isn't intended for your eyes! :op)

Birthday Gift Idea!

Poor Dad always seems to get left out. I just never know what to get him and I hate to think that he may feel unappreciated for all that he does for us. Well, opportunity is a-knockin'...

(Can I sound any more hick-ville?) Well, we are talking about my Dad. haha Just kidding!

So, about what I found:

I found this amazing Paintball Store having an awesome after Christmas sale. What grown man wouldn't love to have his own paintball set? Dad has gone to a few paintball places with some guys and then couldn't stop talking about how much fun he had (or the "war" injuries-of-honor.) I have to admit; I'd love to try it out myself sometime, but I'd want head-to-toe armor of some sort. Not just some little face mask... I'm a big baby and I don't want bruises all over my chest, arms, and everywhere else that gets pelted with those little balls of paint. Though I haven't the slightest idea how to use a gun I think it'd be fun. Not to mention my parents house in the woods is the epitomy of ideal territory for this type of sport, persay. Adam will be thirteen this October and I think this is something they could do together quite often - with Mom's permission, of course.

Well, if anyone is interested in going in on this with me [hint-hint-Jess] (or buying your own, for that matter), here's the link to paintball sniper. Check it out, it sure looks like they have absolutely everything you would need. Maybe we can get a group together sometime. *wink* I'd imagine Matt and Rich would want in on the action too!

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Boy turns into Man - Cool Animation

I just had to share this animation. I certainly think it's worth a few minutes of your time... Someone put a LOT of time and effort into putting this thing together and it's pretty funny. See for yourself, and don't forget to let me know what you think!

Tuesday, January 13

Thoughts Without Language

I begin my Typography class today with a very intriguing question:

"We all have thoughts passing through our minds throughout the day. What kinds of thoughts (if any) do you think you would have if there were no such thing as language? "

I imagine thoughts full of color and shapes. Shimmery bright happy thoughts and vibrant and dark swirling emotion. I think even if there were no language to express our thoughts (even in our own minds) there would still be sounds to coordinate our thoughts. Bubbly, light, and airy sounds; soft, low, deep sounds; and everything in between. Man's mind is nothing short of expression and language isn't necessary in order to do so. There are gestures, colors, shapes, and all of these things that we use throughout design to convey feelings and messages, with or without statements made in any true language.

In addition, I think we would rely on imagery from our past to think our thoughts. If you were cold, you would imagine snow; likewise, if you were hot, perhaps you would bring to mind an image of the squelching sun. It would be like a picture without a headline. It still holds the same meaning to us as individuals, it's just harder to express to another human without being able to show them our colorful thoughts.

This was an intriguing question and I enjoyed pondering a bit on this one.


Now I'm curious; what would your answer be?


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Monday, January 5

Goodbye Twenties...

Well, this is it. Today is the day that I've been dreading for the past five years.

Today I am 30. *sob*

I can no longer say that I am in my 20's.... a whole decade, gone!

My family threw me a wonderful surprise birthday party on New Year's Eve (which quickly explained why Mom was so adamant that we go in the first place. We were tempted to stay home and lay low this year.) It was a great evening and I'm glad we went. They even let me win a few hands of poker. *wink*

Today, I was woken up nice and early by three rowdy boys... made them breakfast and got them ready to go to Grandma's house. Then, off to work... what great fun! I would have preferred to lie in bed depressed all day, but the world would not allow it.

But, you know what...? I have a(n even OLDER) man that loves me... even though I have stumbled into the land of 3-0 and I have three boys that seem to think I'm pretty awesome. For a girl...

I guess this is what it's all about. Thirty Schmirty! hehe


Thank you to everyone who sent a card, I'm very thankful to you all for making my day special.


By the way; hubby's birthday was Saturday - So, happy late birthday ! ! !

Love you much: forever and always!

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