Tag Archives: design

Theory of Distraction

18 Jul

I am easily distracted. Some call it forgetfulness; others say I sidetrack with little effort. I have given it some thought and formed a theory. No, it is not a scientific theory, for if it involved science, it would still be a hypothesis….and even that is being generous.

I have taken several brain-activity tests to determine whether my left or right brain is dominant. Neither is. They affect my life and thinking habits equally.

My analytic left brain allows me to memorize number sequences, see patterns where there are no obvious/visible/existing patterns, use words proficiently, be a painstaking perfectionist in my fashion pattern making; my artsy right brain is what enables me to be creative in my pattern making, draw with exquisite detail, enjoy a vivid imagination and exotic sleeping dream world, be inspired by the simple things like ribbons, fabrics, buttons, shapes, colors, etc.

I frequently switch between analyzing and creating. Mid-nerdy-sentence, a creative thought will strike me and I must stop talking and chase that train of thought. To the onlooker, I was distracted. To me, it made perfect sense. It was a momentary switch from left brain to right.

For example: A guest approaches the front desk of my hotel with two questions. First, would I print out a bill for them and explain the intricacies of tax refunds and rate changes? Sure! My logical left brain starts thinking through the best way to explain our tax and rate policies.

As I begin pulling up their bill on the computer, their second question descends. They are afraid that their pet has carried fleas to the hotel room, would I be so kind to bring a flea spray to their room as soon as possible?

My right brain’s vivid imagination kicks in. This time it’s a Pixar-style animation of me in a Monsters Inc. orange exterminator suit walking in slow-motion to their room, armed with Home Defense spray. As I open the door, the background music grows louder and more sinister; their poor pooch cowers in the corner and the room is obviously infested with fleas hopping wildly. I hook up the hose to the Home Defense spray and push the spray release. Looks of terror cross the faces of the fleas as they die mid-hop and flop onto the floor, where miniature x’s replace their eyes as death settles in. Music becomes triumphant again as I turn to see all the guests from the hotel standing outside the room with rousing applause, a shower of roses, and blown kisses. I smile to myself as I imagine some of my guests with their disproportionate Pixar-style features. Of course, dear guest, I’ll bring some flea spray to your room.

And already I forgot why I was looking at their bill, so I exit it. The guest asks for their bill again, and they can’t believe it’s taking so long.

The problem is not a deficiency in my brain that causes me to forget or be distracted. Rather, my brain is so advanced that it switches so quickly from left to right brain and back again, that my brain does not have time to log information in its short term memory. It appears as though I have forgotten. The truth is that I have yet to be able to control my brain. It’s almost as if my own brain is too amazing for me to handle. Scary, huh? It’s still a theory I’m playing with. I haven’t even thought of a good way to word my theory, which makes it obviously very unscientific. Even so, I felt the need to inform my general public of the reasons behind my frequent distractions.

In other news, I’m still thinking about my amazing carnitas burrito from Chipotle several days ago. Life-changing.



30 Jan

As if 2011 didn’t already come too soon, January also had to end without fair-enough warning. At least I’ve kept busy. And there’s enough happening in my February to keep me so super-excited as to disregard the annoying speed with which January sped by. Happenings such as…

– going to a home basketball game for my brother’s team this coming Friday

teaching a design class to some ladies in my church

– finishing up some sewing/design projects that currently loom over my head

– visiting my sister in the blustery state of Wisconsin

missions month at our church, complete with missionaries and sure-to-be-great messages

– anti-Valentine’s Day celebrations

– after-Valentine’s Day chocolate sales

– pending leaps and bounds of progress on my sewing website

– starting an internship with the super-cool and lovable fashion designer, Pamela Ptak

– Oh, did I mention visiting my sister in Wisconsin?

It’s a lot to cram into the shortest month of the year. But I’m gonna make it work.


I admit…

13 Oct

…I’m a bit infatuated. Over the past months and years, I’ve heard people talk about Etsy. I finally got around to looking at the Etsy site about 3 months ago. I know, I’m a bit slow. And now I can’t stop looking at it. The night I finally checked it out, I seriously spent about 4 hours perusing. It made my creative side go absolutely crazy! I am signed up for their daily “Etsy Finds” email. Every day. New amazing creativity. I’m hooked.

Hast thou a hankering for unique clothing designs? (Yes, I do.) Look no further! Etsy holds hundreds,  if not thousands, of unique handmade garments by artists around the world! Here are some  of my favorites for today. They inspire me so. If I had the money, I’d probably buy them all in every color. Maybe. But since I have expertise instead of money, I’ll probably just end up making similar patterns and maybe one day making the actual wearable garment.

Hast thou a yen for personalized jewelry? (Yes, I do.) Look no further! Etsy has it all! From jewelry sellers who can personalize jewelry for you, to jewelry supplies sellers who can sell you stuff so you can personalize it yourself. I had jewelry-making tools from a 3D design class I took a few semesters ago, so it’s only natural for me to want to get more use out of them than just a good grade in my past. Here are things that currently captivate my fancy.

Hast thou favorite things that thou thinkest art favorite to thee alone? (Yes, I do.) You are not alone! It is practically guaranteed that *someone* is selling something on Etsy that resonates with that exact favoritism! It’s truly a beautiful network of eccentric artists who create wondrous things that are for sale to the common people. No one can be artsy in every area of creativity, so Etsy will connect you with people who are artsy in ways you never could be. I want these.

Hast thou a hunger for tasty and yet artistic delicacies? (Yes, I do.) Look no further! Artists on Etsy do not limit themselves to crafts that will last a lifetime! Buy cupcakes! Buy chocolates! Buy supplies to make your own! And then share with me. Especially if you buy any of these.

The best part about Etsy (in my opinion) is that almost everyone selling stuff on there made it themselves. They care about their product. They can and will create something to meet your creative needs. This is unlike eBay or Amazon, where people are trying to “get rid of” things that they no longer want or need.

Etsy is a never-ending art fair full of succulent goodies. Grab some cotton candy and peruse its venues.

(Start with my favorite shops: Brookish, dazeychic, and LoveToLoveYou.)

To whomever may be concerned with any copyright issues with my posting of these photographs. Yes, you people do exist. I post these pictures, NOT for my own profit, but so that those viewing this blog will be tempted to buy the items, resulting in profit for the person to whom the picture belongs. This is free advertising. And I could not be more tickled to be able to promote these wondrous products.

the nerdy side of sewing

15 Sep

Beyond the pretty, cutesy things I do related to sewing, there is a nerdy process that is considerably less than cute.

I’m not a nerd. I just thought I’d clear that up right now. I’ve been accused of being a nerd before, but I’m not, k? Nerds have big glasses and buck teeth; they play video games; they can tell you how to rewire your harddrive so that it can brew coffee while it combs your hair. I don’t do that. Being smart is not nerdy. Moving right along.

I have what I call a “culotte formula.” It is a Microsoft Excel document that I created a few years back. When I measure girls for culottes, I take three measurements: waist, hip, length. I go home and plug those measurements into my “culotte formula” and bazing! the formula calculates to the fraction of an inch, how much I need to add to or subtract from which part of the existing single-size culotte pattern. That’s not nerdy. That’s transferring my mathematical headache to the computer. A computer computes; I sew; it’s that easy.

The most recent could-be-classified-as-nerdy thing that I’ve done is making tags for the volleyball culottes. Not the tags that actually sew onto the culottes (though I am looking into that), but rather the tags that attach with the little plastic thing that you are supposed to cut off before wearing. Yeah those. I designed them. First I did sketches, like a good lil aspiring graphic designer. Then I transfered the sketches to the computer and traced over them with the pen tool to create a vector. And now for an abbreviated explanation of vector images, I’m going to turn this over to Amanda who is in the computer room. Amanda, would you explain what vector images are and why you chose to use them?

Amanda in the computer room: “Vector images are actually pretty simple to explain. When you take a digital photograph (a raster image), the image is made up of pixels. You’ve probably noticed that if you try to zoom in too far to a photo, it gets grainy….or pixelized, which isn’t a word according to Dictionary.com. If you zoom in even farther, the graininess becomes more noticeably squares. Each square is a pixel. So even if you take a really good quality picture and can print it out fine as a 16×20”, it would look pixelixed on a billboard. Raster=pixels.

However…… a vector image is not based in pixels; it used mathematical formulas to calculate curves, colors, lines, etc. So if you create a small vector image for a business card, and your business really takes off, you can simply resize the vector image to fit a billboard and it will retain its crisp, perfect lines. The vector image just recalculates its mathematical formulas to be bigger! Vector=awesome! This is Amanda, in the computer room for IDon’tCare News. Now back to the sewing room.

Wow thank you, Amanda. I couldn’t have said it better myself! Actually I won’t say any more at all. I’ll just put some pictures up.


10 Sep

I’m torn between a lot of things right now. My mood swings have been many, sudden, and sometimes severe. Does that make me a mental case? Possibly bipolar? Or maybe just having an extremely normal experience with “real life” (emphasis on extreme)?

I just finished several big, humongous, monstrous, sorta-intimidating, hallelujah-they’re-done projects. There was the volleyball culottes project that I’ve known about for months. It has been sorta hanging over my head and sorta awaited with great anticipation. Now I love sewing, don’t get me wrong. But multiple pairs of the same exact thing? I have literally made almost (of not more than) 200 pairs of culottes. It’s kinda getting old. *faint wish for leprechauns who can sew* Getting old like those super-cute flip-flops I got for my 16th birthday that I keep holding onto, hoping they’ll evolve into something wearable again. BUT my point is that the culottes are done! No less than three Red Bulls, two bags of M&Ms, and one 15-yard roll of elastic later.

The second project is something I agreed to whilst I was in Tennessee….yes, that was in July. Just days after Anne Bananne’s wedding. Hemming up 8 “black-out” curtains to specific lengths. Not terribly difficult, just to very specific measurements. None of the 8 curtains were the same dimensions. Try keeping that straight! This was something that, while I was working on it, took up the entirety of the sewing room (aka my sister’s room). Again, my point is, the curtains are all done!

The last thing that has been crossed off my ever-growing to-do list is something that I agreed to a little over a week ago. No time to think about it really, I just said “yes” to the project. I do that a lot. I think it’s because I hate disappointing people. Maybe I should create a therapy for myself and go about intentionally disappointing people so that I can overcome my overwhelming list of obligations. Anyways, the project was computer-related. This conjured up images of working on the high school yearbook CD and the two computer classes I took last spring semester. But I convinced myself that I liked doing graphic design stuff. And you know what? Besides the whole trying-to-figure-out-what-was-wanted-from-me thing, I DID enjoy it! I did two full-page handouts about “living the sanctified life” for a Bible class that will be taught at another church. It is likely that I had entirely too much fun creating something I affectionately refer to as the “Lil Man.” That would be the image that appears to be changing shirts and ties as he runs through this post. He is actually running through the sanctified life. Confusing, I realize. Trust me on this one. My point here is that the handouts are done! Complete with Lil Man.

The thing that makes this post so bipolar is that the entire time I’ve been writing it, I’ve been feeling incredibly successful, productive, and energetic. But as soon as I’m done and I cast my eyes upon the revised to-do list I made while at work, I will feel swamped, lazy, procrastinatory, and possibly faint of energy. Which makes little sense. Because being faint is lacking energy to begin with.

Amanda, stop making no sense. Okay?




(See? Bipolar.)

Slip, trip, and fall

5 Sep

“I tripped and I fell.”

“We do slip and fall.”

“Yeah, I tripped.”

“We do slips.”

“I remember I slipped at first. I remember thinking, ‘Hey, I am predominantly slipping!’ “

“And then you tripped?”


“We don’t do that.”

–Brian Regan

Sorry, but this was the only quotable quote I could think of about fall. Some call it autumn. For me, it’s the transition stage between flip flops and fuzzy socks, between tee shirts and layers of hoodies, between pink & orange sprinkles and red & green sprinkles to sweep up at work.

Fall is finally here, which means that all the projects that I was going to do before fall….should now be done. Remarkably, they aren’t. Some approach the state of completion. But some have not even procured a second thought from me.

School started two weeks ago-ish. I’ve attended one class twice and my second class hasn’t started yet. Most of biology is going right over my head. But the little that does penetrate only serves to concrete in my mind the veracity of Intelligent Design and the obvious fallacy of evolution.

I recently agreed to do some graphic design work for a man from another church who will be teaching a Bible course and needs a handout made. And I also designed little clothing price tags for the volleyball culottes I am almost done with. All this work on the computer remind me of the small amount of enjoyment I found in the two computer classes last spring semester. I still prefer fashion, but I haven’t crossed graphic design off my list of possibilities.

(sneak peek of aforementioned tag:     )

On a totally different topic, we have an inhabitant under our porch. I’ve never seen it, but I’ve been informed that there is a groundhog under there. Therefore, a trap has been set, with offerings of corn, lettuce, and acorns. I wonder if an eviction notification would be effective.

Happy falling! If perchance you happen upon a shard of mitochondria or a herd of amino acids, you can be thankful you’re not examining them under a microscope like I am.

so far

23 May

I said like at *least* a month ago that I was going to do some blog revisions, etc. Well you may have noticed that I have indeed done some. Unless you’re like me and you only read blogs that you have remembered to plug into Google Reader. Mah-velous thing that it is, it simply does not allow you to see most of the changes I’ve made. Bummer.

Listed after the colon at the end of this sentence are changes that I have made so far on my blog:

new theme/layout – I saw a little blip about a new theme called “Bueno” which sounded good (haha, get it? ok that was dumb) and I decided to try it. Turns out, it’s the same theme that my sister just put on her blog. As you may have guessed, her blog is one that I follow predominantly from Google Reader.

new background – After I made this background image, I realized that there was a much, much easier way of doing this. But sadly, this was my method. I made a giant white period (.) on a light orange background. Then I resized it by 300%, basically making it like 3x bigger. Then I put it on a tile mode so it would fill the background. And if you read this whole paragraph, I suggest getting a life. It may do you some good. Don’t ask what this paragraph says about to me though, seeing as I wrote the whole thing.

new self-pic in the side bar –  My mom took this picture of me in a fabric store in Philly. I have nothing further to add.

new header – I created this using Wordle, Photoshop, Twitter, and way too much time. Again, there was probably an easier way. But I got it done nonetheless. I used a tweet cloud thing to tell me what words I twitter most often. Then I manually took out people’s usernames and the boring words. Wordle is awesome. It did the rest of the work for me. I got the resulting butterfly shape. Results not typical. Please consult a physician before use. Keep out of reach of the computer illiterate. Stop use if an addiction occurs. Or a rash. Rashes aren’t fun. Please remain seated until the ride has come to a complete stop.

new tags – This was possibly the most time-consuming of all my changes. Up until now I’ve had a total of six categories, which includes one called “Uncategorized.” So I decided to do tags. So far I have 29. I’m trying to think of a 30th one. Not like I’m OCD about that or anything…. I’ve only got 48 posts on my blog (and I’ve had the blog since October of 2008 I think), and I’m still working on going through and adding corresponding tags. Craziness. And madness. And insanity. But I’m moving on. In fact, one of my tags is “life goes on,” which I thought was pretty clever.

Furthermore, my backspace key is still sticking since I blogged like a month ago. And some of the keys on my cell phone seem to be sticking too. Which has revealed something startling to me. What if it’s not the keys? What if my fingers are losing strength? What if sometime in my near future I will find myself unable to blog and text? What if my fingers become disjointed and move in the breeze like wind chimes? What if…? I refer you back to my tag – life goes on.