Thursday, July 29, 2010

In just three and a half hours...

I will be leaving for the airport to see this mister that likes to bite half my face off. As you may have guessed, I'm over the moon excited. I haven't seen him since January.

So many good things have happened lately. I've been too busy enjoying them to get a chance to tell you about it. I'll catch up later.

I think I'm going to give friendship bracelets to the people who sit next to me on the airplane.

For now, it's nap time. Goodnight.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sometimes I get carried away.

Let me tell you, I am one determined girl. I dream up big ideas and rather than limiting myself to what should be possible, I immediately set my mind to them and do all that I can to accomplish them. These projects generally consume my life, if only for a little while.

A couple days ago, I decided to make a project for myself: make one animated .GIF everyday for a year. At least. Emphasis on animated. So something as silly as .GIFs (don't worry-no dancing teddy bears or sparkly hearts!) is something I ended up taking seriously. I made goals for myself. I thought about the potential and how it would help me develop animation ideas, especially more down the experimental road. I spent my day off sitting in my outdoor fort I constructed with neglected bedsheets, sketching and listing ideas. I came up with a project name, created a Tumblr blog for it, designed a logo, tweaked the layout and design of the blog, came up with a mini artist statement, if you will, about the project, and learned some fancy (or not really) coding while at it.

Well, while doing all of this stuff, I started thinking about integrating more animated elements into this blog, and, well, there went my weekend. But check out my new header! (Go on, hover over it...) Totally worth the 3 hours of sleep I had been living off of. I hadn't intended on remaking this blog, but then I started working on making static pages and thinking about designing the links for them and making them match and... I'm a glutton for punishment, as I've been told far too many times.

Tomorrow, I'll be taking my laptop to the Apple Store (poor Chloe has been sick for a while), so I'm not sure when the project will *officially* start, but I'll be sure to keep you updated.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Alice's Adventures

Today, Mia suggested I make an Alice-themed .GIF, so I made this very simple one. I also decided that I'm officially going to make one .GIF everyday. Hopefully most of them will be simple, hand drawn, mini animations. Maybe a few baby stop motions. Maybe things that just look cool. I plan on making a Tumblr just for my .GIFs. Or maybe revamping my account I more or less abandoned in January or so. Anyway, I will post each one here, and have .GIFs and only .GIFs on that blog.

I've made one everyday for the past 3 days (woo-hoo! Solid start!), but I'm not gonna count this as part of my 365, since I plan on taking Chloe (my beloved laptop) in to get her battery fixed.

So, what kind of .GIFs would you like to see? I kinda wanna see how much they'll spread on blogs and whatnot, so give me suggestions!

All Boys Are Cute.

Today, Mia and I hung out after I got off work. We took a walk up to 7 Eleven for some Slurpees and talked about boys.

Mia: Isn't Kegan (Ciara's boyfriend) cute?
Me: I think Ciara thinks he's cute.
Mia: Oh yeah, and me too.
Me: Is Nicholas cute?
Mia: UH HUH. I love him, and I am going to see him next week.
Me: Oh really? I thought I was gonna see him since he's my boyfriend. Who's your boyfriend?
Mia: Dylan (17 year old friend).
Me: What happened to Griffin (3 year old from daycare)?
Mia: Well, he doesn't like me anymore. He just wants to play blocks instead of princesses.
Me: Oh. Any other cute boys you like?
Mia: Yeah! All boys are cute!
Me: Not really.
Mia: Yes they are! You have a LOT to learn.

She's funny. She's even becoming an expert at sarcasm.

Mia: Wanna hear a funny joke I told my friends?
Me: Sure!
Mia: They said, "Do you wanna play Hide & Seek?" And I said, "No, I wanna sit here and poop my pants."
Me: That's no way to get a boyfriend.

After 7 Eleven, we drew pictures and listened to Regina Spektor. We both really love her music, and her stop motion music videos. (Hello, future potential jobs.)

Mia has also taken to wearing 3D glasses minus the lenses, as pictured above. We're working on doing .GIF length hand drawn animations (very simple) together. But I'm thinking, I should make it a goal to do one .GIF a day. It could be fun. What do you think?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mr. Lewis & Mia Roses

Just before coming to pick me up at work, Mia was sprawled out on our neighbors' lawn talking to Mr. Lewis. I still think we should adopt him. Mia already takes care of feeding him every day. Our neighbors must really appreciate all the carrots on their lawn.

At work, we debated our favorite wedding flowers. I think that's my favorite part of the job. It's really interesting helping people, especially when you hear their stories. Sometimes they're getting flowers for a first date. Sometimes they're looking for rose petals to hide in their car's visors as a sweet surprise for unsuspecting passengers. Sometimes they have to pick out funeral arrangements for their best friend. Sometimes they need "I Love You" flowers. Sometimes they need "Will You Marry Me?" flowers. Sometimes they need "I'm Sorry" flowers. Sometimes it isn't so happy when they pick out flowers for their girlfriends, despite the ring on their left hand. Sometimes it's beautiful when they're picking out bride bouquets. I love seeing the different designs. Sometimes, I really like the deep blue violets with lime greens and whites, grouped. Sometimes, I like whimsical colors, like watermelon and lime. Sometimes I really love soft princessy colors like light green and light pink. Today, we had the most beautiful roses in. They were large and full with infinite layers, in the softest pink, and the outermost petals had a tinge of green. They would be lovely with green hydrangeas. And maybe light pink peonies and white spray roses. I took one of those beautiful roses home for Mia Rose.

This weekend, I played a game of spoons with my cousins. But because the spoons were all in the dishwasher, and the last time a light fixture was broken, we played with spatulas and ladels. My uncle tried to convince us to play Knives instead. Somewhere in the midst of defending common sense, not to mention allergies from sleeping outside in a tent, I lost my voice. Nicholas now calls me "Sir" due to my manly voice that cracks all over the place when you can actually hear it. Mia just thinks Ursula stole it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Meet Mr. Lewis

The baby bunny that lives nextdoor. My neighbors probably think my entire family's weirdly obsessed with woodland creatures, especially if they saw Ciara & me lying on their front lawn feeding clover to Baby Lew in the rain. He let's us get really close, though. I have enough pictures to make a whole series of animated .GIFs with rather impressive frame rates.

Yesterday, I saw some swans on a lake. They were pretty.

Today, my dad saw four hawks. He thinks they're after Mr. Lewis. Hawks aren't as pretty.

My plan is to feed him carrots and clover until he leaps joyously into my arms because he loves me. And then I will take him inside and keep him in our bathtub until I find him a proper cage. I must protect him from those hawks.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Click on photos for sources.

Today, Mia & I slept in a bit before strolling to a local restaurant for brunch. She had the "fairy" french toast, as she was dressed as Tinker Bell's friend Iridessa, and I had strawberry pancakes topped with half a can of whipped cream. Afterword, we walked to a thrift shop, where a baby befriended Mia & followed her throughout the store while I inspected typewriters and film cameras.

I often tell my mom that I'm glad I was born in 1989, but then I end up with a couple typewriters, a slew of aged tea cups, a library of old literature, a collection of vintage viewmasters & reels, and a hankering to go to another flea market. It's been rubbing off on Mia lately. Garage sales are her favorites, and she begs me to take her to the vintage shop ("Oh, please take me with you! I just want to see the beautiful dresses!") and the antique store ("Please can I come? I promise I won't touch anything! I just want to see the old treasures!").

I think it's because old things have more character to them. And, I just don't believe in inanimate objects. I believe they have a life to them, and it's much more exciting to imagine just what they've experienced when they're a few decades older. This plastic stuff from China wouldn't tell the same story. And story telling is important to me. Especially in animations. Particularly stop motions. Which involve objects. Preferably older treasures with stories to tell.

After work, I told my dad about the little camera I had my eye on. And he told me about some cameras that my grandpa had. So after an excursion to the basement, he gave me one! Actually, two, but I'll take the other one when I head back to Cleveland away from destructive little hands. This one is a wonderful little 35mm film camera, and I've been itching to learn more about photography, so it's perfect. It came in this wonderful brown case, with a flash, and two other lenses/lens accessories. Plus, it has this totally rad camera strap. And, true to form, my grandfather's name and address are written in Sharpie on the front of the case.

Tomorrow is my day off, and I promised myself I would work on an animation of sorts, but I have a feeling I'll end up on my [old] bicycle heading to the camera store a couple miles away. I will have to take a break at some point...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Carrots for Mr. Lewis

Today, Mia & I took a walk to the grocery store to get some carrots and soap. We take this little trail lined with trees, and she likes to pretend it's a magical forest where Snow White and Alice of Wonderland wander about. Which is only encouraged when there are "poison apples" on the ground from a nearby tree. While we walked, we made up stories and sang Disney songs and picked flowers jumped in every single puddle we could find. Mia also informed me that she needed a bath because "Deodorant just doesn't cut it." 

At the grocery store, Mia wanted to get 3 packs of baby carrots: 1 pack for dinner, and 2 packs for Mr. Lewis, the baby bunny that lives in the bushes of our nextdoor neighboor's yard.

Tomorrow, we're going out for breakfast. Or maybe brunch if we feel like sleeping in a bit. Then possibly making some paper dolls and probably working in our sketchbooks. All before I go to work at the flower shop.

Oh, and lately, Mia has been in love with button mums and snapdragons.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Eva Juliet

Eva Juliet draws the cutest scissors I've ever seen. And her handwriting's pretty awesome.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Funny Video & Funny Story

I hope that when Nicholas is old & gray, he dances like this guy. To Lady Gaga songs, of course.

Today before work, my mom, Mia & I stopped in Cup.Cake for some delicious treats (I got blueberry pancake & my mom got chocolate salted carmel). While they were getting it boxed up for us, these teenage boys walked in. Mia grabbed my shirt & spun me around, pointing & [loudly] whispering: "CUTE BOYS!" This coming from the mouth of the 4 year old who also tried running away earlier today. That was fun.


My life is complete. Not really. That would be pathetic. But you know that feeling when you find something you've been looking for forever? My first semester at CIA, we had an assignment to do a collage showing perspective in my drawing class. And collage is pretty much my favorite, so I really enjoyed the assignment. But instead of my usual stacks-of-magazines-and-vintage-novels-and-oodles-of-rubber-cement routine, I went with a digital method in Photoshop. It was great, because I had an idea of what I wanted to do, so I just had to find the right images. (Normally, I cut out bunches of images with a similar aesthetic, then choose some of them to piece totogether like a puzzle until I can see a narrative.)

Well, while working on this assignment, I found the greatest website ever. It archived thousands of vintage photos, and everything was easy to find thanks to the categorizing system. Here's the thing: I didn't have a laptop back then, so the internet history was forever lost in computer lab S32. Why I didn't write it down is beyond me. So every now and then, I need an image that I know I could find on this website, but I could never find the website. No matter how many times I googled things like "free vintage stock photos."

And once again, I had need of this beautiful archive. So intermittently between checking my email and watching CSI: NY online and browsing the beauty that is Anthropologie, I was looking for this site. AND I FOUND IT! FINALLY! Finally, finally, finally!

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the wonder that is Shorpy Historic Photo Archive. They have thousands of online photos from the 1850s to the 1950s. You can browse by photographer, like Ansel Adams or Dorothea Lange, or you can look through galleries like Aviation, Colored Photos, Kitchens, & Pretty Girls! So write this one down. Bookmark it in 8 differen folders like I did. Blog about it so you have yet another backup way to find it. Or get it tattooed on your palm. You don't want to lose this.

Ps. In case you were wondering, here's that collage I made way back when. The girl in front was found on Shorpy. I printed the version on the left at 18" x 24".

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Excuse me a moment while I get awfully sentimental and post (embarrassing) pictures that no one really cares about.

Today is July 3, 2010. Obviously. Five years ago, I was enjoying the summer before my sophomore year of high school. I still wanted to be a fashion designer. I was in Sea Cadets, and on July 3, 2005, I was on a summer training on a ship. And on this training, I ate an elephant ear that was far too sugary, rode on an upside-down ride for the first time in my life, enjoyed some beautiful fireworks, decided that I loved hemp jewelry, and met a boy who could make me laugh like no other.

Sometimes I think I was incredibly stupid for even trying this and think life would have been a million times easier if we had simply hugged and said goodbye. Instead, this boy and I decided to give it a shot, even though I was from Detroit, Michigan, and he was from Charleston, South Carolina, which was worlds away from me.

I still remember everyone telling me to give it up, that he would cheat on me, that it would never last. Except, somehow, after talking on the phone night after night until 3 in the morning, after writing letter after letter, after catching flight after flight, we made it. To five years. And he still makes me laugh.

Five years ago, he looked like this.

And I looked something awful.

This little one hadn't been born. In fact, my mom wasn't even pregnant. Now, she's four years old.

I had never seen something so terrifying in my life. Now, I've seen plenty. And they still terrify me.

I had never been to Disney World.

And now I've been twice.

I had never been to the mountains, and now we're planning another trip.

I was still allowed to accompany him to the gate. Now, I can't get anywhere near the airport security line.

I had never been kissed.

But clearly, neither had he. Ha!

I had never seen the ocean.

Nor had I been on a sailboat.

Now I've been on countless. And he's bought and sold...too many to count.

I hadn't imagined that my perfect afternoon consisted of hanging out under ropelights listening to the crackle of Elvis's Blue Hawaii vinyl.

I had never heard of Mr. Will Hoge. Now we go anytime he's in town.

I didn't know that I would end up studying animation, with a plan to name my "company" after the cutest yellow bicycle I've ever seen, perfectly parked next to a yellow fire hydrant.

I would have never imagined having an almost-two-year-old posing with my on the day of my senior ball.

I had never pulled an all nighter. Now I've pulled far too many.

I can't begin to tell you all of the fun times we've had. Even if they are few and far between.

Even as simple as sitting outside on the swing and playing with Sylvester.

And taking little walks on the beach. No moonlight required.

One time, when walking, we were joined by this fellow, whose collar said his name was Scuppers. He walked with us up & down the beach, and we pretended he was ours.

This was from the first time I went to an art museum after being accepted to art school. He really wasn't that excited. But I make him act like it.

Sometimes, he thinks he's cute.

Sometimes, he wears my hoodie. That I bought from the little girls section.

Sometimes, he uses Tabatha and me as armrests. I owe her a big thank you. If it weren't for being overloaded with painkillers & having a spectacular best friend, I doubt I would have ever spoke to him.

Plus, she's really good at taking pictures.

We've gotten much better at taking pictures of ourselves over the years.

Our faces have also improved since this point.

Well, maybe.

We still go on hunts for another record to add to our collection since I first bought him that Doors album. Now we have them all.

In five years, he's gone through an acoustic guitar, an electric, and has moved onto a ukulele. Only after he bought me a pink one and was jealous.

He's always told me that he would break up with me if I ever died my hair. So I decided to test that. Didn't work. Haha

This is one of my favorite pictures of my two favorite people. Mia loves Nicholas. She thinks he's hilarious. One time, she told me he was her boyfriend. We had it out.

Anyway, I'm glad we were stupid enough to give this a shot. He sure makes me happy. Even though I make him mad a lot. I see him in twenty-seven days. I know it's kind of lame that we don't get to be together on our anniversary, but it's just a day. We've only ever been together for our first & third. And I really don't remember much of the first due to a head injury. Hahaha, it probably wasn't funny at the time, but now it's hilarious.

I love you, Nicholas. (To which you reply, "Ok.") Thanks for the smiles.