Friday, December 9, 2011


This is a logo I did for a client who is in the custom cake business. I did this one a while ago, but only got a chance to upload it to my blog now.

Speaking of logos, I signed up on this site called It's basically a site where you can win money if you design a logo the client likes. But you are up against other designers, so the client has many to choose from. Right now, I am just a Probational Designer, and I have to enter 20 contests, and from that point they get to decide whether or not you are deemed 'good enough' to keep on entering the logo contests. That's a long way to go, but I figure if I have a chance to win some money, then why not. It is also a chance to get my creative juices flowing. It's pretty neat to see what other designers have come up with for the same client. I just entered my first one tonight! My goal is to enter at LEAST one logo contest per week.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lightroom: Before and After Shots

My Initial Review
I decided to try a photo editing software from Adobe called Photoshop Lightroom. I have heard many good things about it, so I wanted to see what it was all about. I downloaded the 30 day trial (which is a FULL version) a couple days ago. It seems easy enough to use "out of the box", but there were a few things that I got confused on regarding saving and publishing that were not as obvious to me.

After playing with it, I found it pretty fun. I *might* consider buying the full version (which is $300! eeek!). I can essentially do this stuff in Photoshop, but Lightroom has taken all the photo editing aspects and placed them in one program with a pretty bow on it! It makes editing so much easier than if I had just used Photoshop.

The only thing you can't do are detailed photo edits, such as taking out something from the background or taking a frown and turning it into a smile. The fun stuff I like to do. heehee But then again, I have not really explored deeper into the program other than the color edits. There's also the batch editing, that I have not played with yet, either. But I have a whole month to play and learn!

Also, I tried the Facebook uploader through Lightroom. I noticed that when it uploads the images to Facebook, some colors look muddy and gross and some contrasts are not as high as I set them.  Oh well, that's FB for ya.



The pic on the left is the original UNEDITED photo, straight from my camera.
The one on the right is the Lightroom edit.

I posted these and some more of my edited photos to a public Facebook album here:

This one was the first and my favorite so far. I love the B&W version A LOT! (P.S. the yellow text box was obviously not in my original... it was just on the screen when I did the screenshot! oops)

The white balance was off in my original, so the photo turned out too warm. Instead of trying to correct the color temperature, I decided to try to turn it into a B&W.
I didn't do too much to this one. I added some fill light and vibrancy to the overall color. I like all the textures in this photo... 
and of course the cute little guy too!

With this one, I decreased a little of the clarity to give it a bit of a "dreamy" feel.
I tried the high-contrast look on this one...


My next post will be about another program that I have been playing with called Portrait Professional. I purchased it and it's really fun to see what it does to a face!! Insta-airbrush!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Running on reserves

Between my cousin's wedding, going on vacation, dealing with a "terrible" toddler and stressing about our upcoming move, I've been totally drained of all creative energy. I try not to stay up late to work on projects anymore - I don't want to risk weakening my immune system due to a certain health issue I have. Maybe one late night a week. But even so, most of the time I am so tired anyway, I just want to sleep.

The last creative thing I did was make a handmade wedding card for my cousin and her new hubby... I was inspired by South Park... one of my top 10 favorite shows. :)

In other news, I am REALLY EXCITED about my birthday gift I am getting from Joel. Yeah, I told him want I wanted, so what?! haha Well, there are a bunch of things I want but the one I dropped obvious hints on is the coolest thing on the list, in my opinion... it's also one of the most expensive... haha. Anyway, it will be something that I hope will be a new hobby for me and I plan to use it to make Christmas gifts this year! YES! Another year of handmade gifts! Woohoo!!! Last year's paintings were such an undertaking... I obviously don't want to spoil what it will be, but I will be sure to post pics of them in January 2012!

Friday, September 23, 2011


It was a drizzly, rainy day today. I had to run some errands after work as soon as Joel got home. On the way, I noticed the rain subsiding, but the clouds were still dark. Then the sunset started peeking through the clouds, which reflected into my rear view mirrors. The sun created a really nice glow on every thing in front of me - trees, road, cars, buildings. Now I know why they say that sunrise and sunset are the "magical times" for photography. I kept my eye out for any rainbows because I knew this was the perfect time for one. After driving some more, I saw the most beautiful, brightest rainbow I have ever seen. EVER. And as I drove even more, it got brighter and bigger and even more brighter!! Truly an eyegasm, if you will. There were at least 12 cars that I saw pulled over on the side of the road taking phone pics of this awesome natural color display. I, on the other hand, did not think to play it safe and pulled out my phone and started snapping pics as I was driving... haha.

Of course these photos do it no justice at all. It was so large that I couldn't get it in my cameras view finder. I saw the entire arch... breathtaking! This is one of the times I wish I had my new camera on me! The following are my phone pics... camera phone settings were on low resolution :(

Triple rainbow?
it was so bright!

The pot of gold = Wallyworld?

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I'm taking it back old school...

This is an old Life Drawing 1 figure drawing I did out of black and white conte on brown wrapping paper. I got a 95 on it with the professor's remarks: "Nice work, a little too dependent on line though." What can I say, maybe that is my style.

I recently saw the move Art School Confidential - very funny and satirical, and brought me back to my own art school days. I want to get back into drawing... I can't even remember the last thing drew. I want a new sktechbook/drawing pad and some charcoal or something.

If I post more old drawings, maybe I can motivate myself to draw more now...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Projects list, as of 8/30

Project images coming soon

- Family tree project (freelance project = $) COMPLETED and got paid
- Nursery paintings x 2 or 3 (friend project) Still TO-DO... They had the baby... paint is still in the bags...
- Couples portrait painting x 2 (friend projects - similar style to Christmas paintings) Also still TO-DO
- Wedding logo (cousin project) Figured out a simpler solution
- Business card design (friend project) TO-DO
- Website update (personal project... desperate need of an update) NEED TO-DO!!!
- Investment/Travel Guide layout (freelance) COMPLETED and got paid
- Website update for past client Still TO-DO, but I updated the important stuff and just need to update photos
- Logo Design for a new client (freelance) COMPLETED, pending payment
- Macaron Order (250) for a Christening Party In-progress, having challenges, but I'm going to try to make as many as I can before Sept 4

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Adobe Muse

Create websites as easily as you create layouts for print. You can design and publish original HTML pages to the latest web standards without writing code. Now in beta, Muse makes it a snap to produce unique, professional websites. (to be released in 2012)


If my dream program was ever to be made, it would be this. Coding makes my eyes and brain hurt. I need pretty pictures. How did I not know Adobe was coming up with this program? And it's so appropriately named...

I just downloaded the beta version... now I need to check out tutorials. :D

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy EARLY 30th birthday to ME!!!

Happy happy joy joy... I did it!

I bought my camera - the Nikon D7000!!!!!

But my baby is not in my arms yet. :( They were out of stock all over the place, so I have to wait (hopefully) no longer than a week for it to come in.

I got a package deal with the 55-300mm lens, an 8GB memory card (which will fill in one of TWO memory card slots of the camera!), and an extra battery. All I am missing is the camera!!

Plus the camera comes with a kit lens that I do not own: the 18-105mm.

I'll have 6 lenses - the 18-55mm (kit lens with my D50), 50mm, 35mm, 55-200mm, 55-300mm and the 18-105mm. Yeehaw!!! I would like to add a fisheye lens to my collection... maybe as my 31st birthday present to myself next year. :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

hit a wall, then woke up

It's 4:45am. I am still up. I think I'm going to attempt sleep in an hour.

A few hours ago I placed my head on my desk and closed my eyes while waiting for a file to load. I could have easily fallen asleep if it was not for the danger of spilling my water cup on my keyboard. (I was too lazy to move it)

I'm working on some spreads for a freelance project - an investment booklet/guide (see above).

Just wanted to take a blog break.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'm on the internet!

My arm is a work sample!

The lovely, talented Ms. Kimbery Reed graced my arm with her beautiful art.
I want her to do my other arm... someday. :)

photo by Kim Reed (this photo also appears on her website)

Monday, July 25, 2011

to-do list, updated

- Family tree project (freelance project = $) update: completed first draft, waiting on report of typos, but otherwise call it DONE
- Nursery paintings x 2 or 3 (friend project) Still TO-DO... I think they are having the baby this week, so I need to send soon!
- Couples portrait painting x 2 (friend projects - similar style to Christmas paintings) Also still TO-DO
- Wedding logo (cousin project) TO-DO, this logo is going on a wedding photo booth strip - waiting for dimensions
- Business card design (friend project) TO-DO
- Website update (personal project... desperate need of an update) NEED TO-DO!!!
- Investment/Travel Guide layout (freelance) new project!
- Website update for past client new (but not exciting because it is a favor)!

All that, in addition to the day job! What, me sleep?

Other non-design stuff (to keep me sane):
- I have been teaching myself guitar for the past few weeks. I have an acoustic to play on, but my hands are so small and the strings are so hard to press. Joel is bringing up his electric (easier to play) when he goes down to GA next month. I know A, C, D, E and G and have been playing some songs which only use those chords (ex. Green Day's "When I Come Around"). I am getting the hang of pressing the strings (I've got callused fingertips), but I still need to work on my transitions. It's pretty fun!

My first Macarons
- I've become mildly obsessed with making macarons. They require only 4 ingredients and are relatively easy to make... it's all about timing, though (of how long you let the egg whites sit, how long you beat the egg white, how long you bake, what time of day to make them, etc). I think I might have come upon the ideal times with my last run. My first batch was not a complete disaster, but could have been better. Looking forward to experiments with fillings soon!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

a coffee morning

Last night, I stayed up until 4am working on the family tree layout project on my to-do list.

Take a look at that... I am working off a rough PDF (upper right background), pretty much just making it look a little better – refining it in InDesign. The client will eventually want to print this into a huge poster.

It may look boring, but I'm actually having fun with this. First of all, I think it's SO interesting that the client has his family history of NINETEEN GENERATIONS. I don't even know the names of my great-grandparents! The first person in his tree was born in 1485! Wow...

Secondly, as much as I bitch about being in front of a computer all day, sometimes simplified layout work is refreshing. I probably could have gotten all of this done in one sitting, but I made myself go to sleep. Plus, I love working at night when there aren't any distractions of the day to bother me. It's so easy to play some music and just get into the zone (my divine frenzy!).

I'm looking forward to completing this tonight (if I don't fall asleep). I made myself a strong cup of coffee this morning to stay awake. I am not a regular coffee drinker, I just drink it when I need to stay up at night or following a late night.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Projects (a reminder) and Pinterest

Stuff on my plate that I still need to work on:

- Family tree project (freelance project = $)
- Nursery paintings x 2 or 3 (friend project)
- Couples portrait painting x 2 (friend projects - similar style to Christmas paintings)
- Wedding logo (cousin project)
- Business card design (friend project)
- Website update (personal project... desperate need of an update)


Just started using Pinterest. What an awesome idea. I have needed this for a long time. It's pretty much a visual bookmarking site where you can sort your bookmarks into categories (such as "Inspiration" or "Recipes"). I do this with my favorites/bookmarks on my web browser, but they are hidden most of the time and I tend to forget about them. (If you click on my link, my categories have been set up, but not too many "Pins" yet! I need time to go crazy!!!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

9 to 10 hours of the day



Not as effective as coffee

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wedding Invitation Package

I recently completed a wedding invitation package. These are photos the bride took of the completed, printed pacakge - printed through one of my favorite online vendors:

She wanted something a little less traditional and more whimsical since it will be a beach wedding. I also did her save the date magnets.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Manual Photography Cheat Sheet

(an 18-year old, self-taught photographer from the Philippines!)

Friday, June 10, 2011

so little time...

There is just way too much stuff I want to try, do and explore (artistically, speaking):

cake decorating

...just to name a few. Graphic design is fun, but I want to work with my hands a little more. I get tired of slouching in my chair, wrecking my eyes, staring at a computer screen all day.

Monday, June 6, 2011

new painting, deer & death

New painting
"Mary Ann"
12" x 12" acrylics on canvas
I wish I could have refined it more, but I only had 2 nights to work on it.

* * *
I have never seen so many deer in one place, in person
@ Ft. Washington Park, MD

* * *
Remember my friend, the baby bird, that I photographed the other week?
I think he/she met an untimely death. RIP

Thursday, June 2, 2011

"welcome back to the nature photo blog" (but not really)

 Good enough for stock photography?

 Trees on the river trail

 a Butterfly... I wish I was taller - this was above my head

Someone tell me what the heck these things are!?


Location: pic 1 - front yard, all other pics - Ft. Washington Park, MD

Friday, May 27, 2011

Small Things in Life

This abandoned baby bird was found on the ground the other day. I picked him/her up before I took the dogs out. Liam got a kick out of him/her. I gave him/her water through a dropper and some wet bread crumbs. Later that night I put him/her back outside in the tree near the spot I found it, so as not to disrupt the course of nature. Sorry you have deadbeat parents, little bird.

I found this little guy attached to my leg yesterday. Little bastard. I should have fed him to baby bird.

Prime, baby!

Just bought a swanky "new" (well, refurbished) 35mm, f1/8 lens. ($160, price for a new one is $200-250)
All I am missing now is a swanky new camera body!!! Someone get me a D7000!



In my world of design, I've been working on some wedding invites. I'll post them up once the whole package is completed. Also on the list of non-8-to-5 projects is a monster family tree! (which I probably won't be able to showcase here since it's the same client as last time who requested that I not share his family info... understandable! But who reads my blog anyway!?)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

a divine shirt, me want

From a fellow Gentileschi-fan, a t-shirt design that I truly adore and WANT!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Impromptu Telephoto Session :: the yard

disclaimer: if photos of dog poop offend you, please don't scroll down :)

this flower prompted me to grab the camera

do you see that super fat fly??? lay off the poop, man!

flying anthill city