Count Your Curses! Ok…Blessings

Some would say this has been the worst year ever for me. I was still wincing from the previous year’s lay off, took an income reduction [obviously], and gained some weight. But instead of wallowing in self-pity, denial or negativity, I’m going to take the high road and counteract each ‘curse’ with a blessing and believe instead, that it’s been the best year ever!

  1. I was laid off in November 2012, but this year, I have had a handful of freelance experiences. I’ve learned a lot about freelancing and how to work with other people.
  2. I gained 20 lbs., but I joined a gym and have managed to maintain the gain with a better attitude [because we can actually afford the gym and I actually like going]. I may not be as thinner as last year, but at least I can still jog a 5K!
  3. Our income was drastically reduced, but being focused and disciplined [mostly] has amazingly jump started our savings! It’s “funny” how a crisis kicks your perspective in gear! Alright, not really “funny”.  However, being debt free has helped [we highly encourage it; so does this guy and his team.]!
  4. We finally got a new computer for me to do freelance work; in fact being laid off helped me get it (severance).
  5. I’ve been stressed and ridden with anxiety, but I’ve learned how to breathe, stretch and pray more. Still learning how to “let go” though.
  6. Our first[born] dog, Mid-Knight is 16 years old and she’s slowly deteriorating, but we got another dog recently, Barda. M  has been a little more lively because of B’s energy. M’s still alive and we’re enjoying her while we can!
  7. Both cars are on their last legs, but we were able to pay for their major repairs and they’re still running!

How about you? What have been the low/high points of this year?

Thankful For…Part 2

Here’s the rest of what I’m thankful for below [continued from part 1]. Obviously, this is just a snapshot of a never ending list.

  1. The freedoms [to vote, choose health care, etc.] that this country has
  2. Our military, armed forces, police, firemen, and all the people that are involved in protecting and uplifting our great nation
  3. The choice that my dad made to join the U.S. Navy [go Navy!] because he brought my family to the U.S.
  4. Modern technology; I love the era we live in
  5. My health – even though it’s not perfect (because of my eating!), I’m alive and kicking
  6. Being married; I am blessed to have an amazing husband
  7. The desire, practice and ability of baking, cooking, designing, creating and crafarting!
  8. Pop Culture: Star Trek, DC comics, Sherlock BBC, Jane Austen, Chinese, Korean and Japanese romantic comedies, action films with great stories, sci fi tv and films, films with realistic plots/stories, zombie tv and films, James Bond films [Sean & Daniel], Joss Whedon, Marvel films, Thrilling Adventure Hour, Mew, Cocteau Twins, the Autumns, Starflyer 59.
  9. Jesus, who continues to show me grace, love, mercy, peace, patience

Happy Thanksgiving All!

Thankful For…Part 1

So I decided to do this as well, but mainly to realize and remember ALL my blessings [good, bad and mixed]:

  1. A temp job – it’s a job, I should not complain, it’s related to what I do, and it’s a paycheck
  2. A roof over my head – sure, it’s our last debt, and we are able to pay that monthly mortgage
  3. Our paid off cars – they smell and sound their age, and they still run
  4. Thrift store clothing because I still get compliments when I wear them; and they’re still ‘timeless’ to me
  5. My family for putting up with me / vice versa 🙂
  6. My local and global friends
  7. The ability to work freelance and full-time; I know one of these days I’m going to have to stop sitting on this fence because it’s going to get uncomfortable soon. AND, I love where I am right now

More to come tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving Eve all! [This was supposed to post last night, but it didn’t]

Crazy Cool Christmas Gifts Part 2

As promised from yesterday’s post, here are 10 more crazy cool Christmas gifts!
1. Camera Lens Mug – great for photographers or photography aficionados. Ok, maybe not…just be careful with your caffeine canisters.
2. Wifi Detector T-shirt – maybe someday soon, wifi will be everywhere and you won’t need a t-shirt to detect it for you.
3. Dymo Plug ‘n Play – great for organized folks who love to label everything, but want to create their own designs. This is one of the more budget conscious ones.
4. Tetris cutter – sandwiches or cookies!
5. Porn for Women – it’s not what you think, go ahead, click on the link…
6. Be Seedy At Least Once A Month – a kit for different flowers for each month
7. DIY Build Your Own 35 mm Camera  – going back to your analog roots
8. FREE Vintage Posters – can’t go wrong with classics
9. 5 Finger Touch Gloves – for ALL of your 10 fingers! Unless you have more or less, like my friend Jeremy, who really does have 9 fingers. Hope you’re well Jeremy! Miss ya, here’s my shout out to ya! 🙂
10. Stunner of the Month – keep losing your shades/sunglasses? Or trying to catch up to Elton John? This is a great monthly gift of shades for only $9/month!

Crazy Cool Christmas Gifts Part 1

Here’s some bizarre Christmas gifts I’ve compiled, for you eclectic folks, from some of my favorite sites [ThinkGeek, Uncommon Goods, Fast Company, Dodeline, Whispering Willow, Moma]:

1. Fried Chicken Candles

2. Kinetic Light Newton’s Cradle

3. Whispeing Willow Flax Pillows

4. DIY Lip Balm Kit

5. Andy Warhol magnet set

6. Bacon Soap

7. Rewined Candles – local wine flavored candles, made in recycled wine bottles. Made in Charleston

8. Letterpress Postcards

9. Paper Junkie Stationary membership – for anyone who loves receiving stationary, like fan mail!

10. Godiva Chocolate of the Month Club – need I say more?

More to come tomorrow!

You Don’t Know Where Your Work Will End Up If You Don’t Put It Out There

Friday night’s takeaway from James White // Signal Noise was this:

You don’t know where your work will end up if you don’t put it out there.

He also went on to say: Do it. Do it today or do it tomorrow, because no one is ever going to know your work, if you don’t put it out there.

I would gladly post notes, but I actually found a video of his presentation that was quite similar to Friday night. Of course, you should’ve been there! 

I’m a Graphic Designer…or am I?

Tonight’s post is a quick rant about my recent discovery of my current job title and how I’m feeling about it.

So even though my elevator pitch is “graphic designer”, I’ve come to recognize that for the last 15+ years, I’m more of a production designer. I produce someone else’s creative ideas – at least by day. By day, I mean by the companies that I’ve been employed by. Sure, some of the elements I’ve created or any input I’ve given might make it to the final design but in the end, it’s still a production that wasn’t entirely produced by me. Sometimes it’s a team effort or sometimes it’s someone else’s decision (upper management / client).

But even looking back through these years, I still call myself a graphic designer because by night (or during day breaks) is when I get to create my own designs.

So what’s really my point? I was feeling self-conscious about my job title so I wanted to justify the different kinds of designers out there. However, it is almost midnight so I will have to continue this post tomorrow.