Starry Night

Greater (wo)men than I have created stirring renditions of these simple words, far and above what I can currently accomplish. But here is the story of my Starry Night, painted for my father.


Here I have collected a few pieces that inspire me or that i like an aspect of. I think watercolor really shines in its expansive ability to express gradients, and I love the colors the one with the tree shows, it reminds me of nebulas without actually being a nebula, becuase you can’t really see those with the naked eye. The other I included because even though the night sky, at it’s core, is all about light, you have to include enough darkness for the light to make an impact.

One other aspect of this project that is accuracy. It is my intention, though i’m not yet sure how i’m going to achieve it, to make the more obvious stars accurate. I’d like to include some constallations, specifically this view:
constellations(Thank you Planetarium by Neave (Chrome extension))
Now I just need to figure out how this view interacts with the milky way….

Comp in Photoshop-


Here’s where I have some fun digitally. I combined some my favorite images to get a composition that I liked. Next I’ll overlay the constellations and milkyway placement for a final comp.

Final comp:
Starry-Night-full-compComing Soon:




New Photos

As hinted at on Sunday, I now have a new desktop computer!! It’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s fast, and it WORKS. /happy sigh. One of the challenges with my old machine, which wasn’t my machine at all, was that it … Continue reading


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Sewing & Ikea

It has taken a while, but we are finally settling in to the new place. We still need a few finishing touches, like hanging the pictures and a few projects I have planned, but mostly we are done.

A big part of making this place feel homey was adding bookshelves. It doesn’t have a lot of storage, and what there is, is behind closed doors. A trip to Ikea and assembling our old shelves helped a lot. I don’t have before pictures because let’s be honest, who wants to show their house in total disarray? As it is, the shelves are just UP, not arranged. Books/DVD’s are piled on and not sorted or arranged. Maybe that will be a future before/after post. In the meantime….

(Please excuse crappy phone photos. Having a bit of technical difficulty with the nice camera integrating with the computer.)

Living Room shelf: This will eventually hold DVD’s, TV/Game storage, and Fantasy books. The bottom shelf will hold blankets, but to avoid them becoming a cat-fur deposit station, I usually put something hard on top of them. Looks a bit odd, but it keeps the blankets clean. Mabye one or two things will go on top, but i’m not a fan of excessive clutter, so I’ll keep it simple.

Living Room Shelf

Entry Shelf: Classics, Music, and “Old Fashioned” books. i.e., books that look old and classic, no printed covers. Also obviously not yet arranged. The plant, until moved to this location, served as a chew-toy for our older kitty, which is why it so much the worse for wear. I have little hope of reviving it to its former glory.


Hallway Shelf: Other books. This will be arranged by hardback/softback, then by author to make sure series stay together. Note the collection of year-books on the ground mashed between book-shelf and wall. >.<  This is because the bookshelf is a POS and tilted drunkenly. I discovered that (until my daddy comes up and brings his saw to help add backs to the cheaper shelves,) wedging something against the base added to the stability. I still don’t think it would be a good idea to pack this baby to capacity though.


Studio Shelves: <3 <3 <3 Floating wall shelves. This, and the rest of my studio, will be a future post as well. Right now it’s… functional. I am not displeased, but it’s not the haven of beautiful inspiration that I would like it to be. These shelves really add to the appeal and functionality. Because of the type of wall that we have (plaster) and because these ikea shelves FORCE you to drill a certain distance apart (come on ikea…. make a screw slot so we can line up on studs,*) these shelves are only rated to hold 11lbs each. I don’t plan on putting books on them, mostly craft supplies, so that’s ok.



As far as sewing goes, I started my project-finishing-marathon. So far I have repaired 3 skirts, 1 shirt, and i’m attempting to piece together old quilt squares as a surprise for a certain family member that may or may not read this blog, so I can’t say more.  :)

Also on the list:  Apron Marathon, (I have 5 or 6 cut and ready to do, I just need to crank them out,) Cammo-shirt re-fashion, drawstring bags, and a cute purse based this on pattern by Sew4Home. Mine will be a bold solid with Plaid-peeking out, and probably a (removable) fabric flower for accent in the same plaid.

Replaced Zipper

Took in sides to size smaller.

Added lining for modesty.

*Wow that sounds dirty out of context.

Biking Ireland.

We have always dreamed together to going to Ireland, and recently a new addition to the idea came up: Biking around  Ireland!

**Note: None of these photos are mine! We haven’t gone yet, but when we do go you can bet your booty that I’ll post my own. These though, are from other fantastic sources.

We bike quite a bit. We’re not tight-pants, neon-shoes, cut-you-off-in-traffic bikers, we trail ride, and scurry through town as fast as possible, trying to stay our of the way and get where we’re going. We communte to work via bikes 3ish days a week. (Right now I have what we think is a torn mediscus, so i’m taking a bit of a break, but i’m SO anxious to get back to it.) Most of the guided bike tours I see are a bit different that what we’d want. Not too hard, I don’t think, but different.

I think our perfect trip will be something like this:

($ has to do with how nice where we’ll stay that night is. $ = Hostel, around $20ea, $$= cheap hotel, around $90, $$$=nice hotel, around $150)

Day 0. Prep. I’m a strong proponant of preparing properly (say that 3 times fast…) for a vacation. I like vacations to go smoothly, otherwise the additional stress isn’t a vacation at all! So day 0 is packing, planning, last-minute checking, getting the cats settled into whereever they’re staying, talking to neighbors, stopping the mail, Etc, then going to be early for the inevitable red-eye flight.

Day 1: Arrive in Dublin, sleep off the jet lag. $$

Day 2: Explore Dublin. Particular sights to hit: Book of Kells & Old Library at Trinity College, Dublin Castle, picnic, lunch at Steven’s Green, Talk to some locals and wander(photos! pictures of those gorgeous doors!).  In the evening, the “Traditional Irish Music Pub Crawl.”  (we will be doing a lot of these, i think. )  $$

Day 3: Rent Bikes, Bus approx 80km, then get off and ride the rest of the way to Kilkenny Castle. Lots of Photos along the way. Visit St. Canice’s Cathedral & Kilkenny Castle. $

Day 4: Bike to & visit: Rock of Cashel. This castle is HUGE and is an event unto itself. We will likely spend the rest of the day here. Then, if possible, bus/train onward.

Day 5. Kinsale- Blarney Stone & Blarney Castle. I have wanted to kiss the Blarney stone since I heard about it when I was little. Though, I have such a glib tongue already that my family jokes it’ll make me mute. Still, it’s a dream and i’m looking forward to achieving.

Day 6. Dingle! $$$ We have been looking forward to a traditional, rexlaxed stay in Dingle for a long time. Everything in town is in biking distance, the local shops scene is wonderful, and the bar/music scene is legendary. Hopefully we’ll stay somewhere at least this nice, but I hope to find something a little more secluded.

Day 7. Dingle! As these aren’t that many tourtist scenes here, this part of the vacation is really boring in description, but should be wonderful in action. We’ll get a lot of pictures like this.

And maybe some like this….

Day 8. Dingle! It’s not all about lazy walks and shut-in mornings though. Exploring town and interacting with the locals (who, reportedly, are very friendly to tourists.)

Day 9. Galway. Lots of these!

and these!

And a few of these…

Day 10. Galway. Once hangover-recovery is well underway, (aided by mimosa’s, I’m sure,) we’ll actually get to explore Galway. We’d like to see sights including, the Latin Quarter, Collegiate Church of St Nicholas (shopping!,) Cathedral of St Nicholas, and maybe a play at the Druid Theatre.

Day 11. Cliffs of moher/ Aran Islands. Dún Aenghus. Need I say more? This place is amazing.

Day 12. Dublin: Grafton Street (shopping!) Logistics stuff- like shipping things home, returning bikes, repacking. $$$ (gotta get one last luxurious nights’ sleep in)

Day 13. Return. (It’s a long flight.)

Day 14. Recover. Unpack, fetch kitties, get mail, all that Day 0 stuff in reverse.

That’s all I’ve got for now. This takes research and planning. I’m sure once I get down to the nitty-gritty travel arrangements this will change a bit. We’d like to bike no more than 50 miles a day, so there will certainly be some bus trips. Bus + bike will still be less expensive than renting a car though. And in many of the smaller towns we’ll have much greater maneuverability.

Update and Goals

I am not dead. I’m employed! I am now a digital designer at Wizards of the Coast and working my tail off to earn the very generous salary they have offered. Wow does it feel good to have a “career!”

I work here now!

I am already noticing a tendancy away from the computer in my free time, and maybe even away from design. I plan to nip this in the bud! I am a very creative person and while the tasks they set me are well within my capabilities and mostly fun, they are no stretch of the imagination and i NEED that stretching to be happy.

That said, my plan is to post a project of some sort- hopefully design related, but sewing/photography/furniture refinishing/decorating will work as well- once a week. My post day will most likely be Sunday.

The jist of what I do at Wizards is adding images to daily articles…. forcing myself to write at least one article a week should fall well within my capabilities. I’m a bit concerned that this blog will start to lean a bit towards the casual/free time/artsy, but considering the point of this blog was to showcase my abilities to start my career, which is off to a blaring start, I think I’m alright with the genre morph.

Some specific posts I’m planning on:


Posting some fun edits of M&M’s wedding photos, incorporating PS actions

Home improvement, Ikea style!

Sewing marathon: 2 days of solid project FINISHING. (nothing new. just finishing. Anything not finished will be seriously considered for donation/garbage)

Drawing: Lilacs & Faeries, but not together. it’s a long story.

Tutorials: Once I get into the swing of a once a week schedule, I’d like to add at least one tutorial a week. This might not happen until I’m a bit faster/better at work, because i forsee doing these in my free time between other projects. I honestly have been taking no breaks at all, other than lunches to play Magic with coworkers or Adam, so I don’t think taking a little time to keep on the bleeding edge of design skills would be looked down on.


I have a mile-long list of projects that I want to do, but mostly they were a means to an end: Do x.y.z to show I have a,b,c skills to get blah jog. Well, I GOT the job, and it’s not blah. So ….. now i want to bike/cook/relax/draw/sew in my free time, and I think that’s just fine.


Portfolio, progress, pregnancy.

In case the subtly of adding a page goes without notice- please check out the tabs at the top. There’s now a “Portfolio” page. Amazing how well Adobe tools can adapt to your purpose once you know how to use them. Of course, it could be much better. Above and beyond getting superior work I could add eye-catching file names and OCD info and tags and… and… and… well, to be honest, i’d rather let my work speak for itself.

Though not apparent here, I have been making some great progress at my internship. It’s a challenging atmosphere. A very “get it done. no we don’t have time to help you figure out this thing you’ve never done before, and no we won’t pay you” atmosphere, but I try to take it all in stride and learn from it. Lately we have been dealing with issues with customers. (Parr for the course, I’m learning.) Specifically, they have no fraking idea what they want and we’re being forced (read: I, me and myself are being forced) to do their business logic for them. >.< not my favorite place to be, but I can’t deny it’s educational.

On the plus side, I’m learning more about how to make Client Admin web mockups (which they oh-so-incorrectly call “backend.” … that is NOT a backend. That is, in fact, FRONT end, shall I write a glossary for you?) and how to use wordpress templates. What I’d really like, is to find a tutorial (or mentor?) that will show me what the best practices are for creating a web page (for whatever purpose) and how to best present it to the developers. For instance… red lines like the microsoft people use? Ok, so just how specific are red lines? Do they include functional specs? What about the photoshop layers? Should I just create a single document with layer comps (my preferred method) or do they really need a different document for each page? (oh the nightmare if there’s one tiny navigation change on all pages…) OR!…. is there another way? I learn SO very quickly, but I feel like this place isn’t here to teach me (um, isn’t that what internships are supposed to do Vianki? YES! Yes they are!) It’s very frustrating, but I can’t deny I am learning a lot. Just not about what I thought was relevant.

And Lastly… Why. The . F. is everyone having babies? I mean SERIOUSLY. If I have to see one more new-born pic on Facebook I think I’ll deactivate my account. -.-

Skin and Bones

The fight many face everyday against eating disorders, depression, and anxiety resonates with me. The current pro-ana culture very close to sucked me in with its fiendish glamour and the best response I can think of is to respond in kind. That said-


Skin and Bones

Supposedly beautiful words, a hopeful message, but behind- The truth. Nothing against Coldplay, I’m sure they didn’t originally mean the lyrics as they’ve become, but this phrase is a mantra for the obsessively self-hating pro-ana community. I just wanted to present the words along with the actual end goal.

There is nothing glamorous about death.