Sunday, November 27, 2011

Using Adobe Kuler to help create color palettes

I have known about Adobe Kuler for a while but have never used it until now. Kuler is a great color picking tool. You can start with one color or upload a picture and pick colors out of the picture to create a palette. I did this exercise to help me pick a palette for a surface pattern design I am creating. I am mostly drawn to bright jewel tones, but I tried a few different things. I really enjoyed using Kuler the interface is very smooth and intuitive and it's free. So play away! Have you used it? Do you like it? What other tools do you use to pick colors?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Designing for Mobile

I recently attended an Interactive Chat: Designing for Mobile at Hot Studio. This was perfect timing for me as a designer because I recently started designing for mobile. You can see some of my mobile designs here. This talk was PACKED with useful info and resources and I wanted to share it with all of you out there in blogland.

Speakers: John Gallant & Scott Tran

What's Hot Studio working on? Here are a few of the apps that Hot Studio has worked on. Check out these apps there is some pretty solid design here.

Pop Tech

Limos.com

Zinio

Brooks Brothers

Other Apps with Good Design

LinkedIn

Jetsetter

Tweetbot

Imovie

Kayak


Design Considerations 
Scanning Effect - Never feel lost in an app or website

Hands Per Device - http://www.slideshare.net/HugoMNL/hands-per-device-hpd

Design for Mobile first then other platforms next. This will keep your designs simple and focused. http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?933

Affordance – making sure there is enough space for the user to easily touch a button or hot spot with out accidently clicking on the wrong button.

Consistent Interactions – Apple has developed a set of consistent interactions throughout mobile devices. If you are going to stray from these interactions, there should be a good reason.

Content Delivery – Does my app need to be connected to the internet to work? This can interrupt user experience. Is my App gigantic due to all of the info people have to download? Will this cause users to abandon my app before it gets a chance to download?

Input Types – Mobile Forms. Make sure things are clear and there is a definite order to how you interact with input types. Put input info titles inside form boxes to save space.

Behaviors and Transitions – when you use your smartphone and you don’t get a typical user interaction it can be very confusing.

Compatibility – Make sure you know what types of devices and platforms you will be designing for.

Test and Refine – test your app or you are setting yourself up for failure. Keep your design focused and simple.


Hardware Features 
Think about all of the hardware features of your devices and how you can incorporate those features into your design.

Front and Rear cameras - augmented reality, remembering, video conferencing, optical recognition,

Microphone - voice recognition, siri

Headphone - sound output

Haptic technology - sense of touch, vibrating,

Accelerometer - measuring proper acceleration

Gyroscope – measuring or maintaining orientation

GPS – Location based services, fencing (keeping a child or pet in bounds)

NFC – near field communications, used in payment such as Google wallet

Bluetooth 4 – used in payment systems

Gestures
Make sure gestures flow logically with what you are trying to design.
Common gestures: Tap, double tap, tap and hold, long hold, swipe, wipe, drag, pinch open, pinch closed, multi touch (using more then 2 fingers), flick, shaking

Web App Vs Native Apps
Where does your app exist?

Yelp has both. One on the web, and one that is only an app.

Go for simple. Web Apps typically load slower where a Native App can be faster.

Advantages to doing a Mobile Web app: it’s available because all Smartphone’s have a browser, its familiar to users, updates are quicker because you do not have to go through an app store

Advantages for Native Apps: Performance is better because info is not on the web, integration into the smartdevice hardware features ie: phone book, camera, see hardware features list

Hybrid app: Both Web and Native use, usually you can not tell this is happening.

Process and Teams
Waterfall process – User Experience, discovery sessions, project management, Engineering

What’s the great idea of the app?

What are the goals and needs for the app?

What is the environment where the app exists?

What is your device plan? What devices will you be using?

Design, prototyping,

Development, developers are a designer’s best friend

Testing and optimization


Tools for Developers
iOS Human Interface Guidelines

Mobile First by Luke Wroblewski

Wireframing tools for Interaction Designers
Visio for Microsoft

Omnigraffle for Mac

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe InDesign

Balsmaiq

Tools for Designers
Adobe Photoshop

Screen Resolutions for different devices at punchcut - http://punchcut.com/company/news/punchcut-releases-toolset-multi-screen-ui-design

For iPhone designs start designing at retina resolution then use Unretiner a Mac App, to downsize all elements from iPhone 4 to iPhone 3 resolution

Icon generation from the Mac App store. Use Iconizer to generate all of the sizes for your icon that you will need to launch your app across platforms.

LiveView Screen Caster – Easily see your designs on your mobile device or tablet. Your best friend!

Air Display – Extend your desktop wirelessly to your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or Mac as a wireless display

Punchcut Templates

Sketching out your ideas – no link here, put your pen or pencil to paper and draw out your ideas first

Mobile Patterns – Like Pinterest for mobile apps, good to get ideas!

Teehan + Lax

Tools for Prototyping

GoodReader – Put your files on an FTP and use GoodReader to show clients

Minimal Folio

Tools for Engineers

Xcode

iOS Simulator


App Sketch
Design a Coffee App so Zach can order and purchase the best cup of coffee. I sketched this App concept in 10 minutes at the talk. Really got me thinking.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Wild Mushroom Surface Pattern

I went to Point Reyes on a long drive with some close friends this last weekend. I was inspired to draw some mushrooms and turned them into a surface pattern. This is a new faster style then I usually work in. I made these mostly digitally vs some hand painting and some computer work. I have some good ideas on how to combine my paintings into this style. Anyway I'm pretty pleased with these little guys. And I'm also trying to keep a better sketch book so more work to come as always.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 10

I'm doing a 30 day challenge where I do a blog post each day for 30 days based on this 30 Day Challenge List. Feel free to do the same and send me a link to your challenge.


10. Put your music player on shuffle and write the first ten songs that play






Music inspires every aspect of my life. I just got back from the gym and was listening to the Jack Johnson Station on Pandora, now I'm listening to a mix of a little bit of everything. I feel super energized and ready to start the day. I have many exciting blog posts brewing so stay tuned, I'm back from my mini blog vacation. I'm declaring this week my new inspiration week. What has inspired you so far this week? What do you plan to do with that inspiration? 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 9

I'm doing a 30 day challenge where I do a blog post each day for 30 days based on this 30 Day Challenge List. Feel free to do the same and send me a link to your challenge.

9. How important you think education is


Matt Stevenson and I in front of our alma mater 10 years after we first met here

I started my education in pre-school at age 4, then grade school, high school, and art college. After college I continued taking classes but only classes I really wanted to take. I've taken multiple computer program classes, typography at CCA. I'm taking a Designing for Mobile class this week. I have a list of other classes I want to take and when I have time I check them off the list.

I want to take French classes and go to Paris. I want to take cooking classes, and hoop dancing class.

I think it's very important to keep learning no matter what stage of life you are in. I love learning new things and surrounding my self with other people who know more then me about things I'm interested in. Learning keeps you young and can actually help fight Alzheimer's Disease.

In a study presented at the American Academy of Neurology, researchers found that people who kept active physically or mentally through hobbies such as gardening, exercise, reading, painting, or playing board games were less likely to develop AD later in life than those who engaged in "passive" activities, like watching television.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

1955 – 2011.
I use Apple products every day. They make my life awesome. Yesterday was a sad day. This is a little bacon tribute to apple. I heart bacon, and I heart Apple, put them together and you have a bacon apple tribute.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 8

I'm doing a 30 day challenge where I do a blog post each day for 30 days based on this 30 Day Challenge List. Feel free to do the same and send me a link to your challenge.


8. What you ate today


This is everything I ate today. I'm on a gluten free diet becasue I have celiac disease. All of this food is gluten free. gluten free bread, gluten free cereal. It's a challenge to eat gluten free but I've been doing it for about two years. This is why I bake gluten free goodies and write about it on my blog. I'm getting better at gluten free cooking but it was tough at first and I've made a lot of mistakes that have resulted in me getting really sick. It's pretty surprising how many different foods have wheat, barley and or rye in them. A few surprising items I have found to contain gluten are: soy sauce, fish sauce, soup base, bullion, rice crispies, cold cuts, malt balls, and malt liquor (what's the word? Thunderbird). 

Crushing the Ninja List

I made a Ninja List to keep track of all of the wishes, goals, dreams and fun stuff I want to do in life. Today I crossed off number 47. 


47. Get a French manicure with a weird color

Friday, September 30, 2011

Electronic Awakening Film Debut in San Francisco


I am very excited about this event! Music inspires every angle of my art work and life and I have loved electronic music for years! This movie is going to be off the hook! You can get tickets here. The facebook event is here. This event starts at 7:30 at Temple Night Club in San Francisco. This is a VERY cool venue. There will be speakers and DJ's. Come Join me for an amazing night of music!

Friday, September 23, 2011

How to fix Fuzzy Headers in Blogger

Hi Everyone, I hope you are having a good Friday. I wanted to share a little trick I learned today. Blogger for some reason displays their banners really fuzzy. As a designer this has driven me crazy for a LONG time. But I've figured out how to fix it. I am now changing my blog header every season. Happy first day of Fall. Can you believe it?



Upload your photo/header to Photobucket. If you don't have an account, set up one it's totally free. You need this to obtain a direct link (an html address) for your photo. Click on your Image and then click on "see more" under "share this image." Next, click on the "Get Link Code" tab and copy paste the "Direct link for layout pages" code. Now you might think you can do this through sites such as flickr, etc. But it doesn't seem to work. Photobucket is the answer.


Go back to blogger, and when uploading your header, paste the direct link in the "from the web" box, instead of uploading "from my computer". Wait for the image thumbnail to load, hit Save, and your banner will no longer look like it has five day stubble.

 




This blog post took care of #27 on my Ninja List

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 7

I'm doing a 30 day challenge where I do a blog post each day for 30 days based on this 30 Day Challenge List. Feel free to do the same and send me a link to your challenge.


7. Five pet peeves






1. Messes, clutter, not replacing toilet paper on the little holder, people that don't do their dishes {punch in face}


2. When people use Papyrus and/or Comic Sans on every 5th print piece I see {fail}


3. When people show up to my Zumba class late and then stand right in the front and crowd me. To top it off they don't even know the steps even though they attend this class twice a week. 


4. When non-designers try to tell me how to do my job {make it bigger and spray pain it gold!} How about, not so much. 


5. People that dress their dogs up in clothes


Ha, this list is ridiculous. I like to think of my self as a tolerant person, but I think we all have things that rub us the wrong way. Any readers have weird pet peeves they want to share? Feel free to leave a comment. 



Monday, September 19, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 6

I'm doing a 30 day challenge where I do a blog post each day for 30 days based on this 30 Day Challenge List. Feel free to do the same and send me a link to your challenge.


6. Your view on mainstream music


I like all types of music mainstream or not. {insert annoying hipster list of bands no one has ever heard of, then act shocked that the other person has never heard of them} I actually like a lot of electronic music that is definitely not mainstream. At the same time, I'll rock me some top 40's no problem. My opinion is, music is just like art: it doesn't have to be the best to be fun and enjoyable to listen to/ look at. Here are a few of my current favorite mainstream songs:


Perry - If I die Young
P!nk - Glitter in the Air

Sunday, September 18, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 5

I'm doing a 30 day challenge where I do a blog post each day for 30 days based on this 30 Day Challenge List. Feel free to do the same and send me a link to your challenge.


5. Things you want to say to an ex


Wow this is a hard post, and although I think I could have had a lot more colorful things to say to some of my exes all of my relationships have ended for a reason. Even if things ended in heart break or worse, I'm the type of person who forgives and forgets. It's not worth holding a grudge for 8 years because your college boyfriend cheated on you.


I have had some amazing relationships and amazing experiences because of these relationships. None of them have been the right fit or I wouldn't be single right now, but some day things will click. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 4

I'm doing a 30 day challenge where I do a blog post each day for 30 days based on this 30 Day Challenge List. Feel free to do the same and send me a link to your challenge.


4. Bullet your whole day


• Got up at 7:00 am with the help of my alarm
• Posted to my blog, facebooked and tweeted that post
• Showered
• Turned on Pandora to the Sara Bareilles station
• Did my hair
• Made tea with sugar and half & half
• Did my makeup
• Walked to the Caltrain at 8:15
• Realized I was looking at the wrong schedule
• Waited at the Caltrain for 20 min
• Got off the Caltrain and walked to work, forgot to tag off 
• Did some research on the computer about iPad app design
• Hung up my mood board with a really loud staple gun and my shoe
• Went to Wallgreens to pick up my prescription 
• Walked to Ozone to meet my friend Julian for lunch
• Realized that he said Osha and hopped in a cab to meet him
• Ordered lamb and chicken skewers for an app and pad see ew for lunch
• Julian and I talked about a tons of BFF stuff including his movie Electronic Awakening
• Walked back to work
• Got a text from Sarah and she wanted to do dinner, I said cool.
• Downloaded Balsamiq and Xcode, and worked on some iPad app wireframes
• Made a list of all of the stuff I need to get from my studio
• Went home via the Caltrain, did not forget to tag off
• Went home and took some pictures of a book for a blog post 
• Got another text from Sarah telling me dinner was off because everyone was canceling
• Decided to get my nails done
• Went to the salon 
• Came home and ate leftovers, yum
• Watched Restaurant Impossible and worked on my blog
• Brushed my teeth and washed my face 
• Bed time

Thursday, September 15, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 3

I'm doing a 30 day challenge where I do a blog post each day for 30 days based on this 30 Day Challenge List. Feel free to do the same and send me a link to your challenge.


3. A book you love






I LOVE The stranger by Chris Van Allsburg. It has been my favorite book as long as I can remember. This book has fantastic illustrations and is about a stranger (Jack Frost). He shows up and has amnesia and when he finally remembers who he is the leaves change color. 




Chris Van Allsburg has been my favorite Illustrator for 23 years. I discovered his books when I was in Kindergarden. I remember every week when we had library I would ask the librarian if she had gotten any new Chris Van Allsburg books. Sometimes she would say "yes," and it would make my day. 


I've had the pleasure to meet Chris twice. Once was in 2003 at the Curious George shop in Cambridge, MA. The second time was in 2005 in Boston, MA and I actually got to see him give a slide talk about his sculpture work. It is amazing when you get to meet your idol in person. Feel free to leave a comment about your favorite book. I'm always looking for new things to read. I am currently reading Decorate by Holly Becker and Heart of the Matter by Emily Griffin. 



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 2

I'm doing a 30 day challenge where I do a blog post each day for 30 days based on this 30 Day Challenge List. Feel free to do the same and send me a link to your challenge.


2. Something you feel strongly about


I feel that we we are all put on this earth to create. Being creative is very important to me and it's a skill we all possess when we are born. Some chose to embrace our creativeness and some choose to ignore it. So, I say if you are ignoring your creativeness, don't. The world would probably be better off if you take action and put your creative energy to work. So Get going. 


The pictures below are a mood board I created for the design of an iPad App I'm working on. 
Feel free to leave a comment about how you have been creative this week. Cheers. 



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 1

I'm doing a 30 day challenge where I do a blog post each day for 30 days based on this 30 Day Challenge List. Feel free to do the same and send me a link to your challenge.


1. Five ways to win your heart



This is a funny post, and something I have had a lot of time to think about in my single life. Although I don't think there is a magic recipe to "win my heart," and chemistry has a lot to do with falling in love, there are a few things that I admire in potential suitors LOL. 


Be the best you. I am always striving to learn more and do more and be the best me I can be. I would like to be with someone who is on a path that betters them. Turn on. 


Be romantic. I'm a total sucker for romance and it comes in many forms. There's the cheesy flowers and stuff (which is nice), but the best type of romance is when the other person does little things that lets you know they are thinking about you. Swoon.


Make my Life easier. I am busy all the time, and I work a lot. I haven't been in a relationship in a long time where I felt that the other person made my life easier in any way (actually just the opposite). It would be so amazing if a guy did anything to make my life less work, or less stress. Amazeballz. 


Be a cuddler. I'm a toucher. I haven't read the book, but I'm pretty sure my love language is touch. I love to cuddle, hug, kiss, and give and get back rubs. Back rubs are a sure way to my heart. Not to mention it sucks to hug yourself, it just looks silly. 


Be passionate. I LOVE what I do, and I want to be with someone who loves what they do. It makes for better dinner conversation. TRUST ME. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

30 Day Challenge



I've seen this 30 day challenge on many other people's blogs and I've decided to jump on the band wagon. Feel free to do the same and send me a link to your challenge. I'm going to do theses at whatever pace they come, I'm not trying to finish them in 30 days, but if I do good for me. Photo by Matt Stevenson.

1. Five ways to win your heart
2. Something you feel strongly about
3. A book you love
4. Bullet your whole day
5. Things you want to say to an ex
6. Your view on mainstream music
7. Five pet peeves
8. What you ate today
9. How important you think education is
10. Put your music player on shuffle and write the first ten songs that play
11. Your Family
12. Five guys/girls you find attractive
13. Your opinion about your body and how comfortable you are with it
14. What you wore today
15. Your zodiac/horoscope and if you think it fits your personality
16. Something you always think "what if. . ." about
17. Something that you are proud of
18. A problem you have had
19. Five items you lust after
20. Your fears
21. How you hope your future will be like
22. Your Academics
23. Something that you miss
24. Five words/phrases that make you laugh
25. Something you are currently worrying about
26. Things that you like/dislike about yourself
27. A quote you try to live by
28. Somewhere you would like to move or visit
29. Five weird things that you like
30. One thing you are excited for

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Memories Free Software Giveaway via Sweetooth!



I've had two rockstar moments lately and I wanted to share them with you. The first moment was when I did a blog post about meeting Holly Becker and naturally I tweeted about it. To my surprise and amazement Holly retweeted it to her 30k+ followers and my blog traffic went through the roof! I was so excited. (BTW follow me on twitter @alishawilson)

The second cool moment was when I was contacted by My Memories a digital scrapbooking company. They had come across my blog and really liked it, and inquired if I wanted to do a digital scrapbooking giveaway. Heck yes I do! I made a scrapbook with My Memories of my recent trip back east. This is my first give away and I have been wanting to do one for some time now. Here are a few in progress pages from the book I'm making:





I would love to design scrapbooking kits and I know I will some day soon. Actually, I just added it to my Ninja List. This project has been very inspiring. All of my readers you will get a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the MyMemories.com store - $20 value! just enter this code at checkout: STMMMS19970

Alright, I'm sure you want to know how to enter to win this software (Normally $40). Here's what you need to do: comment on this blog post about why you would like to win this software. Yup that's it, and you thought that was going to be hard. I will draw a winner in two weeks. Good luck everyone! 


Here's where you can find My Memories:

Blog- http://blog.mymemories.com/
Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/mymemoriessuite
Twitter- @mymemoriessuite

Street Art - San Francisco and Beyond




Over the past few years I have fallen deeply in love with street art. I see it everywhere, on the side walks, on buildings, on bridges, even trees.

Now, I'm not onto the shitty tagging gangs and assholes do that freakin' ruins people's personal property. I'm into creative stencil art, paste ups and crochet graffiti. There is probably a fine line between these two, but that's a discussion for another time.   

I went to art school and it was really okay to draw on the walls. I think people are realizing that street art is worth something. Especially when someone will pay tens of thousands of dollars to cut a Banksy off of a wall, or the fact that an entire community was in an uproar when someone unknowingly painted over one of Banksy's masterpieces. I watched Exit Through the Gift Shop, which taught me a lot about how people make street art, and who some of the major players are. I was also fortunate enough to see several Invaders when I went to Germany last year. I'm also really into Jeremy Novy's Koi Fish. 




I'm always snapping pictures of cool street art and wanted to put it all together in a post for my readers to see. I also recently fell in love with Instagram, which I've used to put some radical filters on these badass pics. Would love to give these artists credit, so if you know who they are leave a comment. Heck, just leave a comment if you have something to say about street art. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Casey Caplowe of GOOD


I attended a design lecture presented by AIGA SF last Thursday. Casey Caplowe the co-founder & chief creative officer of GOOD was the speaker. GOOD is doing a lot of Good shit, pun intended. You should check out their site and projects. But, without recapping the lecture I wanted to talk about one bit of information that I walked away with. My brain latched onto one quote that Casey threw out there, and it really resonated with me: Fail Harder. Fail Faster. Try to fail, and you won't.


This quote rocks. Don't just sit there, if you are afraid to fail you will never succeed. We were all put on this earth to be creative, that is why we have thumbs. So get out there and paint, draw, snap photos, decorate, sing, write, design, inspire.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Focusing on Myself

I set a goal at the start of 2011. I wanted to create an art licensing collection each month for the entire year. I've had a pretty hectic few months full of a lot of bullshit upsets, and as a result I have fallen behind on my goals.

Why is it that my personal goal gets swept under the rug the moment my life has a hiccup? Well I say fuck that. I am making some drastic changes in my life to make sure I meet the major goal I set forth this year. I can't keep putting my dreams on hold. Here are the four things I'm going to do for the next 86 (that's ironic) days to help me meet my goal. (My birthday is in 86 days, and yes I will be drinking on my birthday.)

-Quit drinking
-Give up online dating
-Make a list
-Quit shopping 

WTF? You might be thinking, how the hell will this help you draw more cupcakes?!? Yeah, I thought you might ask. First off, drinking is stupid. Fun, actually, really really fun, but stupid. I'm not an alcoholic or anything but I like to drink, the amount of time and money I spend on drinking could be spent on painting, designing, entering contests, social networking, real networking, getting inspired, making new friends or sleeping. All more productive then being hung over, and getting fat. 




Giving up online dating. (Cough, cough, oh God.) Yeah, it's time consuming. Why am I spending a few hours a night a few times a week with some weird stranger, talking about the same stupid crap over and over again and never feeling a connection? Not to mention if I spent a few hours a day a few times a week painting, well geesh I would be light-years ahead of where I am now. So again I say fuck it. If Mr. right is out there, he can find me, I'm sick of looking. So fuck off, because I'm awesome.

Make a list. I'm pretty sure I have ADD and my mind is in hyper spazz mode 24-7. I've got freaking awesome ideas zipping around in my brain like a caffeinated ninja. They come, they go, they come again. I'm capturing those thoughts in a massive creative "ninja list." why a ninja list? Why not, ninjas are awesome and they smell like cinnamon bits. 

Quit Shopping. Time is money people. The less crap I buy, the less I need to work doing side projects to pay for that crap I don't need. This leaves more time to crush the list.  

I'm really nervous to post this list to my blog for the world to see. But if I post it, then it makes these decisions real. Also, by no means am I going to hole up in my art studio every spare second of my life and work my self to death. I'm an artist, I need social time, inspiration, sunlight and a break. I'm starting a new job this week and I plan on kicking some major ass at it. I'm so excited for the new challenges of working as an Art Director for a San Francisco startup. 

So with all of that said, for the next 86 days I'm going to have a new focus: myself. Weird I know, but it needs to be done and has been a long time coming. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Meeting my Teacher

A few months back I took a blogging class called Blogging Your Way with Holly Becker of Decor8 and Leslie Shewring of A Creative Mint. The class was fantastic! It was an online class so I never actually met the teachers.

Lucky me because Holly Becker just wrote a new awesome book called Decorate and she is doing a book tour! I just started reading this book and it has already inspired me to start sprucing up the rooms in my home. Last Thursday Holly was in San Francisco at Anthropology giving a mood board demo with Leslie and signing copies of her new book.

It was really amazing to meet both of the teachers of this online class. Holly lives in Germany so I never in a million years thought I would actually get to meet her. She was so personable and friendly. What a true inspiration.

A few other really exciting things have been happening in my life. My college roommate is getting married this coming Sunday in New Hampshire! I was worried to buy tickets for this even because I have been in-between jobs, but one day I just decided to go for it and make plans to attend. It's hard to be on the left cost, when a lot of your friends and family are on the right cost. I have missed a few of my friends weddings due to cost and limited vacation time, and I decided that I didn't also want to regret missing this one. Aimee (the bride) was my college roommate for three years and brought a lot of fun and excitement into my workaholic life. I leave tomorrow for an entire week back east which will include a stop in Vermont to see my parents, a stop in Boston to visit friends that I miss so much, and then off the the wedding in New Hampshire.

Also, I landed a very exciting new job as an Art Director with a startup company in San Francisco. I can't talk about the details yet, but stay posted for more info. I'm bursting with excitement! I really love when I take a leap of faith and everything just falls into place and works out. I'm going to try to take a million pictures of my trip and post them so you can all see New England.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Best Gluten Free Peach Cobbler Recipe

I was recently inspired to make Peach Cobbler (gluten free of course) for the second time. My first try was okay but was more like a crisp rather then a cobbler, you can see that recipe here. A guy I was dating told me that it was his favorite dessert so I looked up a recipe, went to the store and got the many types of flower required to make this yummy dish. Then, he dumped me over text message. Yeah, burn. So anyway, I'm stuck with all of this stuff to make Peach Cobbler and I have a dinner party to go to tomorrow so problem solved.

This Cobbler smells amazing when you cook it and tastes even better. I'm serving mine with Vanilla Ice Cream. Can't wait for the dinner party!


Topping:
1/2 cup sorghum
1/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 cup rice flour
1 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon orange zest (get one orange for juice and zest)
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/4 cup (maybe as much as 1 1/2 cups) milk
Filling:
4-6 large peaches, sliced thin (I left skin on) about 4 cups
1 Cup Blueberries
1/2 cup agave syrup
I Tablespoon sweet rice flour
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the liquid ingredients except for the milk. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Slowly stir in the milk until the batter reaches the right consistency- about 1 1/2 cups. In another small bowl, mix together the agave syrup, orange juice, and sweet rice flour. Combine this mixture with the peaches in a 9 x 13 baking pan. Spoon the batter over the peach mixture. You may have extra batter. Bake for about 45 minutes on 350 degrees.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wedding Invitation Inspiration Board

One of my good friends got engaged at the start of the year and she asked me to design her wedding invitations. I'm pretty excited about this project because I love designing invitations and the color pink. These ones so far in my mind are going to be antique rose, charcoal grey and cream. I put together this collection of pictures as an inspiration to my creative process.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Proof is in the Numbers

I was checking my blog stats today, something that I do about once a month. I was pretty happy with the numbers. My unique monthly page hits have doubled since I took the "Blogging Your Way" class about 4 months ago. I learned so many tips and tricks to making a good blog. I feel as though I've implemented about 1/4 of what I learned in that class. Whenever I have a little down time I try to implement a little more of what I learned. This class lets you download the lessons as pdf so that makes it easy to go back and refresh what you learned.


If you are interested in taking this class, visit the website, and sign up for the mailing list. It's well worth the price. Blogging Your Way is a self-paced e-course so you can participate whenever you have time each week. Please login at least once weekly to read the topics posted and to complete your homework assignment. Expect to set aside a minimum of 2-3 hours weekly for this four week course. You can absorb everything at your own pace because you will have unlimited access to the site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Friday, August 5, 2011

This Week in Painting



I've been busy this week. I am trying to get a new collection put together called "Zombies are Sweet." I've been taking snapshots of my progress to share with you. While painting this collection I have been thinking of coordinating patterns to go along along with my ghouls. You can see little sketches of those in the margins. I've been wanting to make a paisley pattern for a long time so I took a stab (no pun intended ha) at it with some ghost inspired paisleys. There are ten different ghouls in this collection and I have some trick or treating goodie bag ideas. I also want to make these into a paper tableware and greeting card collections.


I am now working on isolating all of these images and creating surface patterns out of them. The more images I create for licensing collections the more I learn about what to include. This time around I added some key phrases along with some simple patterns I can use as accents or in the backgrounds of images.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Painting Type

Life is hectic as always. It's summer time, and for me that means it's all of my nieces and nephews birthdays. I always send them cards, and I always think I should hand paint or design these cards myself instead of buying them. This year I broke out my paints and my blank watercolor cards and started painting. I've been wanting to experiment with painting type for some time so I combined the greeting cards and type. I painted these cards for what seems like forever and I'm still not completely finished yet. I learned a lot about painting type and I still want to experiment with it some more.



I have been doing a lot of painting lately and I will post more on that this week. I'm alway thinking I want to do more and get more done. When I actually sit down and paint I realize how long it takes to complete a licensing collection. It feels great to make progress. I am currently painting a Halloween collection. The next two collections I want to paint are flowers and fancy drinks.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Purple - A color study


I went to one of My best friend's weddings this weekend. It was possibly the best wedding I have ever been to. The colors were purple, silver and black. This is a little tribute to Morey and Katie may they live a long happy life together and inspire others to do the same. Love you guys.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!

Red, white and blue, BBQ's and freedom. The fourth of July. I went to a BBQ early in the day and saw some amazing fireworks at night. I wanted to share a gluten free party recipe with you today. This is the second time I have made these Goat Cheese and Basil Stuffed Tomatoes and they were a big hit the first time. I wanted to make something red white and blue for the holiday, and I got 2 out of 3, so I'm happy.



Ingredients

24 Cherry Tomatoes
8 oz of garlic herb goat cheese
3/4 Cup Minced fresh basil
dash salt
dash pepper

Tools

mellon baller
sharp knife

Prep a platter with a few paper towels to place your tomatoes on.

1. Cut a small portion of the top (where the stem comes out) of the tomato. This will be the bottom and really helps the finished product stay together. Then cut a larger portion of the other side so you have a place to scoop out the insides through.

2. Use your mellon baller to scoop the guts out. Make sure not to go through to the other side or your filling will fall out. Discard guts.

3. Place all of your tomatoes upside down on your paper toweled platter. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator. Let chill for at least an hour before filling.

4. Make your filling. Chop up your basil and mix with room temperature goat cheese with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5. Fill each tomato with cheese mixture

6. Remove from refrigerator at least 15 min before serving. Enjoy.

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