Thursday, June 4, 2009

His Eye is on the Sparrow

I finally found the copy of me singing at my nana's funeral. It was a few years ago and taped over the church's sound system, but it was a great celebration for me. It was requested in her WILL that I sing this song--which happens to be one of my favorite hymns. However, true to my nature, I like to play around with the arrangement a little. It sounds a bit 'tinny' because of the low recording quality--but enjoy.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I have been feverishly working on finishing my Master's program lately. It is a concentration on technology in education, especially on the emerging web-based applications like blogging, wikis, nings, media and social sites, etc... We even looked at things like virtual worlds (2nd life...) and what is happening with those applications right now and considered how they might apply to education. (I found it interesting that Harvard is actually starting to conduct classes in a virtual world.)
But regardless of the advances in technology a large comfort level gap exists between digital immigrants (those who did not have technology around for the majority of their lives) and digital natives (who grew up with the internet, computers e-mail, social sites and the like all thei life--they speak 'geek' so to say). This 'comfort level' discrepancy tends to breed a certain fear of technology making people less interactive and personal. Although it isn't talked about much, there seems to be a fear that the more we rely on technology in this fast paced world, the more we will loose our sense of connection to each other. But I am finding, to the contrary, that once I push past my fears and become comfortable using the technological applications, my ability to connect is actually stronger. Sure, I still need to see my friends, laugh, hug and watch their facial expressions as we swap stories; but becuase of emerging technological programs, I am able to interact with my friends (albeit virtually) in a more efficient way because it is done asynchroneously instead of trying to capture shared free time in people's busy schedules. So here is to venturing out and connecting in the vast virtual world!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Design Dilemma Podcast--Color

On this second podcast of Design Dilemma, I cover two of the four major color schemes while talking about the power of the color wheel and how to choose color teams. Monochromatic and Analogous color schemes are featured on this segment as safe and subtle ways to include color into an outfit, home decor and more.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Design Dilemma Podcast

Design Dilemma is an inaugural podcast aimed at helping the design disabled. My goal is to demystify the rules of good visuals because I strongly believe that all of us are creative. Too many adults, when they find out I am an art teacher, try to categorize themselves as uncreative by saying "Oh, I can't even draw a stick figure", and while that makes for funny small talk, the sad part is, too many people avoid art out of fear once they are an adult. For those of you who had overly critical art teachers, accept my apologies for them, for those who just never had the opportunity to develop more visual skills, break out...and to all who want to develop your creative side and what I consider to be an innate, God-given desire, let's move forward together.
Check it out here:

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dreams & Changes

This is one of my impulsive midnight paintings that started out with large blobs of color thrown onto the canvas and then blended into an O'Keefe like floral.

I've been learning a lot about dreams and changes. Dreams can be like that comfortable old blanket that sits around just waiting to wrap you up in warmth. You can collect dreams and store them away like treasures that no one else gets to see--because what if they did see...what would happen? There is some fear associated with sharing the things that are your secret treasures--for instance, you may have someone laugh at your dreams, or maybe someone will smash your you tell yourself that it is okay to keep them hidden safely away where only you can daydream about them.
But I think that dreams, just like those little foam animals that come in pill-sized capsules, grow, like the foam toys, when they are let out and put in water--or in the case of dreams, if they see the light of day! Dreams need to be played with, acted on, even in small segments, and not just thought about as they collect dust in the closet of your heart and mind!

I have found the richest times of my life are when I dare to enjoy the things that make me smile and not worry about the impracticality of my craft, or dance, or song or girl's night out, or being goofy with my kids! Dare to enjoy the little things--they are the fertilizer of dreams!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Return Reflections

It's almost been a year and I feel like I have been in a design desert. Not that the ideas and inspriation have stopped...but that life needed emphasis in other areas for awhile.
I went through some frustrating medical issues but finally feel better than I have in so many years!! It feels so refreshing when you can feel your 'groove' start to return! We also moved, and with two small boys, full-time jobs and graduate courses...just getting readjusted to the schedule of life, takes the effort of the whole family and many months!

But last month I finally unpacked my art supplies and organized my 'design studio' ( a little room I claimed for my own). I made sure I created a space where my kids could come and create with me.
My sons, now Kindergarten and 1st grade, take my breath away as I watch them innately sit and design. I never intended to push my interests or wishes on them, but they naturally love to create, explore and design. I feel honored to be a participant in their life and to support the unveiling of their interests. Those of you who are parents, teachers and coaches know what I mean, I'm sure! What a priviledge!

Designing with my son:

My 1st grader also loves the computer and has one of those 'engineering' brains. He is constantly curious and always wanting to try new things, so our activity the other night was to make a blog for him. He got a digital camera for Christmas and loves to document the things in his life. However, he always wants to print out his photos. So I thought, what a better way for him to feel proud of his photos than to display them online so he can show his friends, teacher and family without having to always print! It has been a good excercise in helping him to practice writing his sentences as well! He is personally vested in his project, so getting him to write sentences has been pretty easy. He has been so proud, that it thrills my heart. Here is his blog if you want to check out a 1st grader's world.

So...I guess I have been busy designing some memories even though I haven't posted many personal visual examples as of late. I think times like that actually help to bolster a new kind of creativity and inspiration. "Time-outs" can be good for all of us!

Here are some samples of my inspiration from the tiny hands in my home

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tall Layouts

Wow--you are seeing more and more vertical layouts these days. I have fallen in love with this style because of the freedom it gives me. I feel like there is so much room and I can use my smaller photos without looking having them look dwarfed by the 12 inch size paper. These are two of my latest 6"x12" layouts. I find that wallets, 3.5x5 and vertical 4x6 photos tend to work the best for this size composition. Remember gravity--largest and heaviest objects toward the just as it is important for a skyscraper to have a good solid foundation, a tall layout needs some 'grounding' too! To ground your design, place a photo or darker/larger paper at the bottom of the layout.