Monday, July 14, 2008

Studio News: New Blog Home

CREATIVEGoddess Blog
New Blog Home:

I've secretly fallen in love with Wordpress as a blogging tool; it has more dynamic capabilities than my former home.

CREATIVEGoddess Blog (screen capture)

(Click to enlarge)

  • I found a template that I've been able to customize to look very, very similar to my new e-Commerce site.
  • I can create additional pages that will allow me to post freebies and imagery -I've already got a few populated with current and upcoming contests and a free Wallpaper archive.
  • The entries are also truncated for quicker reading. You can click either the headline or the link at the bottom that states, "Continue reading...." to pick up the remaining story along with the comments. If you've previously read the topic, you can push right past it to get to older posts.
  • More ways to search via categories or key words.
  • Snapshots is enabled to let you see an image of the Web site that's linked before you actually take it. I like that!
  • The front page allows you can see which topics are the most popular; who has commented and on what topic.
You're more than welcome to jump over to the new blog and bookmark it. I'll add more features as time permits but right now, I've got the urge to illustrate!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Companies That Win Me Over

Joseph Phelps Vineyard
Why? Because they have done what I've wanted someone to do for a very long time. Create cross-pollinating menus based on their wine or the meal.

Cirque du Soleil
Why? They never cease to amaze me; I am always amused, bewildered, and in awe of the artistic and physical expression they create. I love listening to their music when I work -keeps me in another plane.

Why? Because they create the most awesome products like the iMAC, the iTouch, the iPod Shuffle. They've also got great applications like GarageBand and iMovie. I'll post more on these soon, too.

American Airlines Admiral's Club
Why? They keep you comfortable and away from the noise pollution of the terminal concourse. You get free WI-FI access as well as coffee, tea, juice, water, and television. If you've purchased Business Class transatlantic tickets, they give you vouchers for free wine.

Why? They manufacture great vehicles like the Accord and our ugly baby, the Element. Our posts here and here.

Who or what do you love?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Stacation Updates: An Effortless Task

This weekend with 'the wall' went up without a hitch. I was really expecting more of a tumultuous issue than we had, but our predecessors helped us out -and you won't believe how!!

After spending an hour Thursday Night clearing out stuff that lay against the wall, Andrew began light demolition the next morning until I returned from my walk. I dragged my sorry butt into the house and he pulled me downstairs to reveal the idiocy left behind by the former owners.

The infamous double doors. (click to enlarge at your discretion)
1+2)Braced by only trim work by our brilliant predecessors. We're thankful we didn't have another hurricane, or worse, a wolf come blowing down our doors!

3+4)Nothing says love like inserting an inappropriate moisture-prone wood door used for dry spaces. They must have installed these for the 'quick sale.'

5+6) Two! Count 'em: 2 micey nests. Tucked neatly under this nasty step -they got in, but they didn't get out. Evidently, they died in place similar to those peat bog burial rituals found in Ireland.

Fast forward to framing
7+8) Jim finally showed after demolition -a much cleaner endeavor- trumor has it that he just got a manicure. Borrowing awesome nail guns from our good neighbor, Mike, we, er, Andrew and Jim built and installed the framing. 9-11)Rubber sheeting applied to outside to prevent moisture and windows installed; Andrew routers out the sections for windows.

12) After cutting and fitting insulation, we used materials given to us by Mike and his former projects -we love handy neighbors. Thanks, Mike! We finally got smart and snapped the drywall to create cleaner openings for the trim that will get inserted. 13) A hard day's work deserves lotsa protein -and a fabbo salad built by Jim. This was definitely photoworthy.

Hints & Tips: Making a Daunting Task Effortless
Sure, I grew up with tools of all kinds and Andrew has an industrial design background, but having these backgrounds doesn't necessarily make any project easy. Keep in mind that:

  1. Egos are sure to be involved. I have to say, Andrew & I mesh very well when it comes to projects: one is the project lead and the other is minion -and we alternate.
  2. Another important factor is research. This may be books we bring home from the home improvement store, online searches, even the next door neighbor. Although it was the holiday weekend, Mike availed himself to us for a consult since he's already flipped a house and is now currently working on his deck.
  3. Right Tools. One needs the right tool for the right job. If you're painting, don't open the can with a screwdriver, snag a churchkey from the paintstore -they're free. If you're doing framing of any kind, use a automatic nailer -it makes a difference. Oh, they're not free, so don't be afraid to rent the tool.
  4. Friends. There are many a guy out there who insist on doing projects themselves. I know that when strength will be tested on an hourly basis, he's going to need help. Sure, there's always me and I'm usually right in there getting my hands dirty, mosquito bitten, cut, but no matter what it takes, employ the help of a friend. If you think the project will only take 2 people, get a 3rd. Be sure not abuse your friend for stupid tasks -use him only for those that require brut strength. You know there's going to be reciprocity, so choose wisely.
  5. Know Your Limits. If a project looks simple and you've got the genius to do it, be sure to schedule between the raindrops. Keep a tarp and phone number of a local handyman expert handy.
  6. Double the cost, Double the time. For any project, estimate how much it will cost, then double it. Estimate the time, and double it.
  7. Keep a Sense of Humor. Any project can get soured quickly by a number of things -egos, primarily. Remembering the fact that we're all imperfect humans "should" mitigate any disaster -provided it's not a disaster that lands us in ER.
Got any tips? We'd love to hear them!

Next on CREATIVEGoddess: Will Jim ever get his hands dirty? Will the rain and humidity dry up so that we can install our siding and paint our fresh spackled walls? Will I ever get my remodelled production area in a state of extreme efficiency? Will Mike ever finish his deck?? Will Andrew and I finally get the mannies & peddies we so richly deserve??

Stay tuned...

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Momentary Thought

Glitter is the Herpes of Craft Supplies.
Demetri Martin

Sweet Memories

There are reasons we have animals and pets in our lives.

If you don't have a pet, find a way to adopt one because they enrich your lives in ways you could never anticipate. Kids should have pets in their lives because they learn to love on an unconditional level along with companionship and camaraderie.

Some animals don't belong to us as pets. The clip shown below reveals that these guys who rescued the baby lion did this the right way. I couldn't help myself, I had to blog this after receiving a link from my friend Jeanne. I love animals dearly and this video will have you tear up in no time; the 4th time I was bawling.

Watch it now -it's quick, I promise.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Studio Stacation

I say every year that when Memorial Day has come, Summer's done.

I love Summer and this sucks.

My birthday has passed and Labor Day is right around the corner!! Somewhere tucked in there is my wedding anniversary. yay!

I am enjoying my walks w/J & C in the morning and the dancing fireflies in the evening. So at the very least, I am actually enjoying Summer without the burn. I've attempted several evenings to photograph the staccato dance of the fireflies in the yard -alas, they mate incognito. Ewwww...

Okay, now I am a photojournalist: Taking mating-ritual photos of bugs. Hmm. Maybe I'll just collect them in a jar like every 8 year old does and take photos... now I've jumped off the deep end because I was about to mention the "p" word. I guess that all depends to whom I sell the photos, right?

Wait! I was going to mention my Stacation.
While the US celebrates our independence this weekend, we're saddled with a stacation.

Def: Stacation is the result of remaining at home on a holiday break. It may be due to gas prices, lack of coin, studio products, or home improvement projects that need to get done.

Our old home, the typical ranch built after the WII is showing it's signs of age. The next imminent project is replacing a double glass door (in my new production area) with a wall and a couple of windows. Oh joy. I can think of other things I'd rather be doing.

We've broken up our trips to Lowe's so that we can prevent paying for one of those oh-so-cheap rental trucks which isn't so cheap after all. Tonight: large and heavy materials like plywood, sheet rock, and God knows what else.

I am looking forward to completely renovating the workshop.

The photo above is from our trip to Edinburgh just before New Year's. We got some awesome footage of the fireworks and river of fire walk for charity on film -I just need to take the time to figure out how to download it from the camcorder. Oh! I haven't scheduled my one-to-one at the Apple store yet, I could do that this weekend.


Andrew would be so disappointed in me if I ran away from this house project.

Anyone else benefitting from or suffering from a stacation? Best answer gets a prize.