Monthly Archives: July 2012

Wordfull Wednesday – Instagram

I love mornings at work.  Very calming and beautiful to watch the sun come up over the mountains.

Abigail, Marina, and I played Dakota and Skyler at Trivial Pursuit. I was surprised by how many answers I knew!

Yes, I am a Cat-agramer. But he is so cute! And so wacko-crazy! Right now he is trying to attack me as I type on my laptop. I think he is a blogger at heart!

This is probably my favorite instagram picture ever. My two boys, playing with each other. There were a few cute ones after this, where Dakota was hitting Loki with his hair. It was too cute. It warmed my heart!

Have you been taking Instagram pics this week? We’d love to have you link up at #iPPP!

Mamamash

 

 

 

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July So Far

So far, July has been off to a good start.

Because I have been lazy about weekly Instagram posts, here is my life in July so far  through Instagram.

1) Loki after staying up all night crying. He doesn’t like his crate. He has since gotten used to it a  bit, because whenever I put him in it (even in the middle of the day if he’s particularly rambunctious..yes, I am a bad fur-parent) he just curls up and goes to sleep. I think he just accepts it.

2) Loki. Taken about two seconds after the first picture. I thought he was finally relaxing but it seems that I was wrong. He went absolutely bat shit crazy.

3) The craziness makes his sleep that much sweeter. I love watching him sleep.

4) One of the rare occurances of me wearing full make up. On Saturday, I went to the wedding of two of the sweetest people I have ever met and had the pleasure to work with. I took Abigail. It was very sweet and I am not ashamed to admit that I cried in more than one spot. There were a lot of laughs. Especially when, in the vows, they promised each other to spoil their Great Dane. After five years of engagement, the title of the day was FINALLY!

5) The centerpiece of our table, “Fishie”. All of the tables were named after their dog’s favorite toys. I was seated with one of my coworkers and his wife. It was nice to spend sometime outside of work. We did talk about work quite a bit, but that’s what happens when coworkers get together!

6) I love when Loki curls up next to me. He is adorable.

7)  I can’t explain why I took this picture. I think I was bored. I’m trying to get over my disdain of pictures of myself. ESPECIALLY smiling. So I am trying. What do you think?

8) I know. Enough pictures of the cat. But he just cracks me up sometimes with the way he sleeps.

9) My adorable pair of shoes!  $8 at Target! They got a little scuffed at work (I do work in manufacturing — this should’ve dawned on me before I wore them to work but I wouldn’t be who I am if I did. ) They are still cute though. Suede is just hard.

And, I’ve been thinking that if I do a Project Life project, that it will be easy to write journaling cards if I just go by these posts 😛 So maybe I will be successful afterall.

Mamamash

Book Review : Dedicated Doctor or Baby Broker? by Shawn Graves and Don Canaan

I figured I would try something a little different today, here in my little corner of the blogosphere.
I am supposed to be getting dressed for a wedding, but I just couldn’t put down this book.

And now I have to tell all of you about it while it is fresh in my mind.

——

Dedicated Doctor or Baby Broker? by Shawn Graves is a very mysterious book. It’s prequel,Alzheimer’s: Dutiful Daughter blew my mind.  The author creates such a gripping story line that I was actually unable to put my kindle down. Both of these books I finished within a day of starting. They are not outrageously long stories, but they are still the kind of story that makes me irresponsible. (i.e., I don’t go to bed on time, I get to work late because I am reading..)

Both of these stories are focused on a detective from Kingsburg, CA , named Liz Roberts.

In the first novel, Dutiful Daughter, Liz investigates a case of a man being left at the Fresno Fair. I might need to reread this book now that I have finished Dedicated Doctor or Baby Broker?  If that happens, I will review it for you here.

In Dedicated Doctor or Baby Broker? , Liz Roberts is on the case of a case of a OB / GYN accused of selling babies in the 1940’s – 1970’s. Ellen Goodman, the doctor, is revered around the Fresno Area as a great doctor and one who has delivered many, many babies.

The description from Amazon.com says that:

“Detective Liz Roberts, who we previously met in Dutiful Daughter (2011) will unravel the truth and uncover seventy years worth of secrets to discover a complicated tale of profound love between two people forbidden by law to be together because of the color of their skin. It is a tale of great sacrifice…and of greater evil.

Meanwhile, Liz Roberts will also unearth a long-buried secret in her own family. A secret that will shake the foundations of her world. ”

And, you know what? As cheesy as I typically find book descriptions, this one is absolutely correct. This is not a book you will be able to read and put down. This is a book you pick up and read from start to finish, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Now that I’ve admitted to my book addiction, let’s get down to the hard facts.

The characters: The characters in this book are, not surprisingly, given the first book, very well developed. Ellen Goodman, for example, is such a real character that I wouldn’t be surprised to meet her on the street. At certain parts of the story, you find yourself feeling so horrible for Ellen and wanting to hug her and console her, but there are also times when you want to slap that grin off her face. But that is what makes these books (and the author, Shawn Graves) so great. She realizes that real people are not so black and white. Her characters are real in that they have both bad qualities and good. And that makes them so real.

The story: I already said I couldn’t put this book down. The story is so gripping that I couldn’t even stop reading to eat or sleep. Seriously. And the great thing about this story is that there are no loose ends. By the end of the novel, all the questions that you may have are answered. Author Shawn Graves must have been plotting this novel for a very long time, but I know she didn’t, considering how close the novels were released. In such a short amount of time, the author was able to lay out a story with such historical references and such twists in the plot that end up so nice and finished at the end that I appauld her hard work and dedication. I know I for one couldn’t do that.

My take: Read this book. Now. Seriously, click the link above to check it out. As far as I know, it is only available on Kindle at the moment, but Dutiful Daughter was released on the Nook and in paperbook shortly after release. I have been finished with this book for about 30 minutes or so now, and my mind is so completely blown that I can’t even stop thinking about it.

TOO LONG / DIDN’T READ: Click the link for the book. Buy it. Read it. Review it. It will blow your mind.

Take my word for it.

And let me know in the comments if this is the kind of feature you would like to see on a regular basis here at Jessie Kay Graphics and Design! Lord knows I read enough books.


Five Question Friday

I am so thankful that is already Friday! I love Fridays!
Here’s my Five Question Friday, to celebrate!

1. Is love at 1st sight possible?

I think so. With Dakota, the moment I sat next to him in class  I just felt (and this is totally cheesy, but dude, I keep it real.) fireworks. I had to get to know him.
I don’t think I was old enough to know what love really was (I thought I did then, but I was 17. I was not always the smartest!)

I think it is, at least initailly, infatuation at first sight. You can’t really love someone until you really know them. I always think I couldn’t love him more, I am always proven wrong. He always ends up doing something even cuter / sexier / smarter (or he just shoots his bow.. seriously. Sexiest thing ever. Don’t believe me, look at Hawk Eye. I rest my case.)
2. How did you choose your pet’s name?

Well, I didn’t get to name Scooter. Then again, neither did Dakota. His mom named her before they figured out she was a girl.
Our poor cat has a boy’s name. Some people say it is unisex, but  I think it is TOTALLY a boy name. Poor thing.

But don’t tell her that. She has teeth. And knows how to use them.

Loki, on the other hand, we did name. And boy, was it difficult. When we first decided to get a kitten  I thought I would be getting an orange one. I was going to name him Aslan. Like from Narnia. Perfect, right?

Well, guess what. We didn’t get the orange kitten. We got this grey, fluffy, little hunk of love.
Dakota wanted to name him  Alduin, Destroyer of Worlds. I’m sorry, dude, but I’m not naming my cat after a DRAGON.

Instead, I named him Loki, after my favorite villain. Kinda funny now that I think about it, but Alduin is the God of Destruction, and in Norse mythology, Loki is the God of Mischief.

Either way, I think we are setting ourselves up here. What do you think? Does he look evil?

3. What are you considering giving up (cable, home phone)?

Soda. I have done it so many times. The stupid thing is, I feel so much better when I don’t drink soda. But I keep going back to it. Any ideas why?
Do I just get to addicted to things too easily?
4. How much do you pay your babysitter?

Well, we don’t have any kids, but I would pay at least minimum wage. If I couldn’t afford it, that’s the good part about having my Mama nearby.

And Dakota’s parents. And his grandparents.

I think we got it covered.
5. How “young” is old enough to babysit?

Well, when  my brother and I were kids we didn’t really get babysitters outside of our family, due to one really bad experience with a babysitter when I was a baby. (I’ll tell this story later on maybe, but I had a seizure and the woman DIDN’T CALL MY MOTHER. She thought she was too busy at work. Needless to say, my mom reported her. That’s just not good.)

We mostly stayed with my grandma before she passed away.

But on weekdays and what not, and after we got past 11 or so (after Grandma passed away), we were latch-key kids. I honestly think that it helps kids learn to entertain themselves. Don’t get me wrong, we went to Boys and Girls club for many years. But at that point we were old enough to stay on our own. And since my brother and I were only 18 months apart, it wasn’t like I was really watching him. It was more like making sure the house didn’t burn down.

I think with my kids, I will do something similar. I would like to keep them with family for the most part. At least until  I can trust a babysitter. And probably around 12, I will let them stay at home alone for a few hours. But, I know when I become a parent, that could totally change. That’s parenthood for you.


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What to Include In A Good Design Portfolio

You just got the call about an amazing design opportunity.
Whether it is an in house gig, or freelance, you are going to need a portfolio.

Take my word for it.

Problem is, if you’ve gone to design school, you probably have a whole bunch of work that you want to display.
Don’t.
At least not all of it.

I would say 10-15 pieces is a good number to have.

Here is what I include in my portfolio: (And if any of you readers have advice here on how to make mine better, I am always looking to improve!)

And if you are ever interested, on my Facebook fan page is a small portion of my design portfolio. I need to update it when I get the chance. Check it out here.

Good Logo Design

Okay, I’m sorry, but as a graphic designer, you will most likely not be designing logos 100% of the time.
That’s just not how it works.
Even free lancers have to do some other work.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know how to do some great logo design.

Pick about three GREAT logos from your collection. In my school, we did a lot of logo design, so I picked the best three, and I made sure to pick three from very different industries. It is important to show that you are diverse. And it is also important because an engineering firm won’t want the same style as a skateboard shop.

Or maybe they will.

You never know.

Anyways.

Identity Packages

If you don’t know what this is, Tuts Plus has a great article here on how to create them.

I would include one or two that you are very proud of. I currently have two in my portfolio, but once I find something better to include, I am going to take them out because they are not my favorite pieces.

And that is the best part about having a portfolio.. include what YOU are proud of.

Publication Design

In my job as an in house designer, most of my work is Publication Design, or Desktop Publishing. (That was my original title when I got hired — fun fact) I like to think it is one of my strong suits.

I would include a few good layouts. Make sure they are branded well for whoever they are for. For example, for the company I work for, all of the publications I design have the same shade of blue, the same shade of red, and the same logo.

Branding

This might be from more of a marketing stand point, but if you design more than one thing for a company, pay attention to the branding.

Identity packages are an easy one. That is mostly copying the logo and using the same colors.

But what if you have to design promotional products?

Pay attention to how you brand any company. It can come down to colors, fonts, or even the language used (in advertising, mostly). Think about it. Apple is a great company to look at for this. If you look at their website, do you see anything out of place?

Nope. Because they keep it consistent.
That is the best advice I can give you: be consistent. Corporate America digs it.

Vector / Raster Artwork

This might be a controversial choice (sound off in the comments if you feel differently) but I like to include examples of my artwork. It might not be applicable to the job at hand, but it still good to show that you have an artistic side. Show off. One of the pieces in my portfolio won an award at an art show — you better believe that piece is in my portfolio!

In my experience, being well rounded is a good thing.

It is a fine line, however, between being well rounded and not really knowing much of anything. What I mean is, companies look for people who are well rounded with an array of knowedge over subjects in their field.  If you are too focused on one subject, your knowedge is too deep and not wide enough. Focus on too many things, and your knowedge is shallow but too wide. Look for the middle ground.

This piece isn’t something I would neccesarily have to do for my current job — but if they ever do need something like this, they know I can do it, because it is in my portfolio! I believe it also shows your expertise in a certain program if you do something cool like this.

This pertains well to design programs as well. You should know all the big ones. Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator. That’s what I know. And I know them well. I have ventured into Dreamweaver, and some others, but my knowedge in those is still very shallow. But that is another post. Maybe I will do a What To Know In Graphic Design Programs post. What do you think?

What do you have included in your portfolio? Include links, if possible! I want to see your work!


Little Letters

Dear Impatient Lady Behind Me, Honking at me to turn left into oncoming traffic is not a smart idea. I hope the hand signal I gave you conveyed the message I was trying to get across: You and your hurriedness to get some where are not more importnat than mine and my truck’s well being. Dear Dakota, I am glad you finally gave in to my wishes and let me get a kitten. Dear Kitten, thank you so much for filling a void in my heart that I didn’t know I had. I hope you love me half as much as I love you. And I’m sorry I haven’t decided on a name yet for you. Dear JR, thank you for being good to my Abigail. If you weren’t (or if this ever changes), please be aware that I have ways of hurting you. You don’t mess with my best friend. Dear Weekend, Why did you have to pass by so quickly? I don’t want to go to work tomorrow. Dear America, thank you for being a great country to live in. We have our problems, that’s for sure, but I still love living here and being an American. Happy Fourth! Dear Readers, I hope you are enjoying what I’m writing! I love getting comments! Let’s be friends!
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