Design for the Greater Good

So, a lot has been happening. I’ve been designing a bit, trying to score some freelance and whatnot. I’ve really been looking into designing for the greater good, working on some volunteer stuff. I was surfing volunteermatch.org today (they have TONS of volunteer design opportunities!) and I emailed an organization today and may be designing a logo for the Africa AIDS Fund. I’m particularly excited about it. It’s free for them and a potentially great piece for my portfolio not to mention a resumé booster! It's neat cause I was just thinking about my Teen Missions trip on my way in to work this morning, when Morgan and I helped build the orphanage for AIDS orphans.. I think it was the weather. It was cold and crisp with the smell of woodsmoke in the air. Reminded me of the mornings there. After we (by we I mean my sister and I and fellow team members) woke up at the crack of dawn, worked for a couple hours hauling/laying bricks or mixing cement, we would get breakfast, hot or cold cereal (occasionally baked oatmeal) with a tall mug of scalding hot tea, no sugar or milk, and we’d huddle with our bibles and wool blankets that the team leaders bought for us in a nearby town, and just sat with the blanket around us and the hot tea steaming in our faces, too hot to drink, just quiet and reading our bibles. That feels SO long ago. It was a really nice memory though. Very calming. The children we met there and the people in general were such wonderful human beings, and it’s so sad to see such a preventable disease cause so much destruction.. it will be good to do something to possibly help the cause. BUT ANYWAY. I’m excited to possibly work on this project. It will be nice to use my design powers for good. There’s an excellent article in STEP this month with Cheryl Heller which discusses the duty of designers to volunteer. It’s a great read. I highly reccommend it.

Also on the design scene, I am going to be designing menus for a friend of a friend who owns a restaurant and wants them as a gift for her mother. I guess the restaurant’s been open for ages but has never had an official menu. I’ll get to design the whole thing myself, total creative freedom, plus some spare change would be really nice. Also, Boyds is mailing out a check for some revisions I did which is sweet, but unfortunately due to various circumstances of which I know no details, the project is on hold. I REALLY hope it still goes into production. I'll be totally bummed if they can it.

Other than that, not too much else going on. Kris and Erik are coming up for the weekend and Kim and Karen are following suit tomorrow, which means there’s gonna be some mad fun going down around these parts!! I'm more excited than you could even know!

Take care kiddies. A Halloween post is soon to follow. October’s gone WAY too fast. I’m not ready for winter yet.




Visual-Verbal Synergy at its best… well, maybe not its best, but at its most flattering at least.


Happy Pre-Birthday Friday to Me!

Today has been a pretty good Friday. Work was eh, as has been the usual lately, and getting up at 5:30 also is not on my top ten favorite things to do list, but post-work was great! I got home and had a card waiting from my grandmother for $150 (she usually gives $100, so that was a nice surprise, but even better than the cash was the card itself. She picks the BEST cards ever! She always picks out long cards, that fold out into multiple sections, typically overly flowered, but the words are amazing. My favorite phrases in the card are as follows:
Live deep
Never stop learning, playing, or finding wonder in teh world around you. Live the length of your life, but live the depth of it as well.

Make mistakes
Follow detours. Sometimes it takes an unexpected turn to help us find the life that is waiting for us around the bend. Trust yourself and the path that is meant for you.

There was a lot more to the card, all of it very good, quite thoughtful. Those were my two favorite parts though. My mom gave me a Halloween themed bday card (always enjoyable) that had 'wicked' in every other sentence, (wicked is a thing in my house, with my family having new england roots and all) which was wicked cool.. haha. i'm so nerdy. And she gave me $200. also nice. But Anyway

One of my favorite parts of the day though, were two other gifts... get ready.. try and contain the excitement.. she bought me The Omen series DVD boxed set!!!! I know you're almost as excited as I am, but remember to breath. How cool is that!! You know what I'll have playing in the background while I'm at my computer for the next week or so!! ALSO... Rosemary's Baby was in the $5 bin at Walmart!! FIVE DOLLARS? It's such a classic! Of course we had to snatch that one up too. I LOVE old horror movies. They definitely don't make them like they used to! Now if they would just carry some Hitchcock in the $5 bin, that's be pretty awesome.. but I'm not expecting miracles.

But overall the BEST BEST surprise of the day was my mom cleaned my room. As lame as that sounds. It's been getting pretty messy over the last week, I've just been so busy I haven't gotten around to cleaning and clothes and books, soda cans, papers, sketches, etc. were piling up like crazy and when I went upstairs today, VOILA! my room was spotless! she even changed my garbage! It was great. I was most happy indeed!

And the weekend's only going to get better cause tomorrow I'm off to Atlantic City with my sexy musketeers! YAY! :-D

now i'm gonna pop in some jolie holland, light a couple candles, and work on some design stuff!

A Quote and A Note

“Because things are the way they are, they will not stay the way they are.”
–Bertold Brecht

I saw this quote on aiga today. This speaks a lot in regards of some things that I'm going through, some changes I'm working on.

KUTZTOWN: yesterday was SO amazing. It really was. Going back to Kutztown is like going home. I saw all my favorite professors, hugs and handshakes were exchanged. I miss that place, the people, the atmosphere. Shelby and I attended the Return of the CD Grads. Amazing. It was so refreshing and motivating to hear from professionals in the field, people who are designing and loving it and living it. I was able to meet Jason Santa Maria, an established and respected (not to mention talented) web designer. That was very cool. I was also able to meet Jeanne Maier the design director at Franklin Institute. Lovely conversation. I received so much great advice in only a few hours from so many people! I'm really excited about design again. It's been a change-around for some time. It's not that I was no longer excited, I don't know, since graduation, once I got a job, my enthusiasm just hasn't been what it used to be, but over the last month or so, it's been rebuilding, with teaching myself web design and launching a new site, finalizing edits with boyds, and yesterday in particular really set me on fire again. I've got more ideas churning than I know what to do with! Ah. It's good to feel this way again.

As of Sunday I'll be 24. 24's going to mark some big changes ahead.. I don't know as of yet what those changes are.. but they're going to happen!! And I'm quite excited!

(sidenote: my favorite thing said to me yesterday was a comment from Ms. Innocenti (one of my favorite profs).. she said I looked great - very well rested. I liked the well-rested part, made me laugh. Sleeping is definitely the biggest post graduation perk! haha.

*sigh* I miss Kutztown so much sometimes.



I've been feeling a wee bit tense lately. With a side of angry. Nothing a little red wax pencil can't fix...




Biscuits and Molasses

If you’ve never had flour biscuits and molasses, you’re leading a deprived life indeed. They’re simply the best food on this earth. You take a flour biscuit, put a little butter on it, and a couple spoons of molasses and pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds (unless the biscuits are fresh and right out of the oven.. which is the ideal situation). I’m telling you. It’s amazing. And it’s nice and filling, a wonderful fall food. Perfect for fall really. Have that with a cup of hot cider and you’re golden.

Here’s my mom’s flour biscuit recipe. It’s passed down from my grandmother. Very much a Canadian thing, biscuits and molasses. Doesn’t seem to be a popular state-side tradition, but it should be!
Try it. I’m serious:

• 2c. flour
• 3tsp. baking powder
• 1 tsp. salt
• 3/4c. shortening
• 1c. milk
• a drinking glass
• some extra flour for rolling the dough
•molasses (use Grandma’s brand.. that old lady on the front of the jar. She knows what she’s talkin about)

Preheat your oven to 375º

Mix first 4 ingredients together. Now, you don’t want to mix too much!!! The less you mix, the flakier the biscuit. It’s best to mix these with a fork or old-school pastry blender. technology is not always a good thing when it comes to cooking.

Once these are mixed and kinda crumbly, add the milk and mix it with your hands (you may want to wash them first. seriously).

Once the dough is no longer wet and actually looks like dough, spread a little flour on your work surface and turn out your dough. You can roll it out with a rolling pin, but I think it’s best just to pat it down flat with your hands. You don’t want the dough thin, but you don't really want it super thick either. These don't really rise, so while you're rolling it out, think of how big of a biscuit you want to put in your mouth.. that’s how thick you’ll want to roll the dough. Now you take your drinking glass and use it as a cookie cutter. Just turn it upside down, cut out some circles and place them on a baking sheet (if it's not non-stick, grease it first. a little shortening'll do the trick)

Bake the biscuits at 375º for 15 minutes until they’re slightly golden. You don’t want them brown, that’s too much.

Let them cool a little bit. Third degree burns on your tongue aren’t fun, I mean, biscuits are good and all, but wait a few minutes, ok? ok. Now you take your nice warm biscuit, and you can either cut it in half or into pieces, either way, spread a little butter on it and drizzle some molasses on that puppy! You can even preheat the molasses in a cup for a half a minute to warm it up a little.

And voila! You’ve got yourself a tasty fall treat! Canadian style!

**You can also try these biscuits with cinnamon sugar or raspberry jelly. They're also pefect as a base for strawberry shortcake. Add strawberries and homemade whipped cream (it only takes five minutes to make.. don’t curse these poor biscuits with that shit from an aerosol can. honestly!) and you've got yourself a nice summer recipe.





Some seedlings on my list of ideas to fulfill. Nothing set in stone, just brain droppings. It's going to be quite awhile before i even scrape the surface accomplishment..
  • teach myself the code necessary to create a blog from scratch
  • design and make bags out of thrift store clothes and goodies
  • create a blog about religion in general, about all religions.
    i want to call it 'Faith4All'
  • run a 5k
  • take art classes [i'd have to find some to take first]
  • join the local Democratic Club and become more involved in politics

**note: that is not my illustration


Wacom :: Wacool

Maybe if I’m a good girl, Santa will be kind... Now if I can just find a big enough stocking..


I want to meet this guy. He is an autistic artist with amazing skill. Amazing. Amazing.
For a 25-year dishwasher at Seattle’s Washington Athletic Club, Gregory Blackstock has an amazing skill set: he speaks 12 languages, has mastered the accordion (and can play just about every instrument he picks up), can do spot-on sound effects of dentist’s drills and airplanes, and chronicles the objects of everyday life with exacting detail using only a Sharpie and gray crayons. [click here for rest of the article]
It just baffles my mind. His work is so great! And so fun. There’s no agenda to his drawings. They’re not trying to ‘be’ anything.. to be trendy or fashionable.. they’re not trying to be mainstream, or appeal to consumers or clients or anybody. They’re just drawings for fun, just to draw. It’s his life. It’s awesome. I love how in the linked article above the picture “The Hats” is signed ‘BY: Potwasher Gregory Blackstock.’ I enjoy his artwork immensely.
He has a book out. You can buy it from Amazon.com combined with the PostSecret book for $30.68. Now there’s a deal!

But really though. I’d like to meet this guy. Buy his book first. And then meet him.


SHHH: Society for HandHeld Hushing

Courtesy of Coudal Partners. As I was checking out their blog, I stumbled across this little gem. Seems that Jim Coudal and Aaron Draplin have developed a solution to those noisy and overly rude cell phone users.. you know the type. You're at the store, possibly Wal-Mart or the grocery store and you are unwillingly forced to listen to every last detail of some stranger's personal life. I present to you the tools to fight back:

SHHH (Society for HandHeld Hushing): Dear Cellphone User Cards:
Print out these cards, fill them out, and hand them out to public offenders. Print out as many as you wish. Keep them in your wallet, in your purse, diaper bag, coat pocket, whathaveyou. Enjoy!

Again, these can be found at Coudal.com and are not my work or my idea (though that would be cool if they were.. it's an awesome idea!) I'm just promoting for the sheer hell of it.. supporting the cause!


Virtual Insanity

This is so 8th grade it hurts…