Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Joy

I made this succulent terrarium last year (a couple died since then) and decided to pay a Christmas homage to my dear friends, George & Angela Tompras in Phoenix, AZ by adding some deer and melted snowmen. Merry Christmas, desert friends!

My collection of vintage ornaments:

Village scene that looks way better in person:

Check out what my sister and her boyfriend gave to me for Christmas this year:
Yep, an antique organ made by a company in Chicago. I can't recall the name at the moment and I haven't researched this particular organ yet, but I will and I will be sure to keep the blog updated. I was so overly dumbfounded when they pulled up in my driveway and unveiled this beautiful wooden organ with amazing red detailed accents. I felt like I was dreaming. Apparently, their neighbors were getting rid of it and had it sitting out on the curb. Can you believe it? Who would get rid of something like this!? And, the best part is, it actually works!!! It really was the missing puzzle piece to my home and everything just feels complete now. No more bad moods in my house; each time I walk into the room and see the organ, nothing but pure joy remains. Thanks, Morgan! You're the best!

PS: Notice in the window on the right, Santa dropped by to take a peak into my house and make sure everyone was being nice. He says, "hi!" ;)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dancing Mr. & Mrs. Claus

Video quality doesn't do this thing justice. I fell completely and madly in love when I saw this one fine November day in a local antique shop. Its the only thing I purchased that day and it was the first thing I saw. Its like Mr. and Mrs. Claus were waiting for me to come in and give them a home where they could dance until their hearts were content. (I know, I'm a dork...and I don't care) 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I thought I'd post a few photos of the holiday decorating and crafting that I've been up to this month. I'll post with more later in the month, just to keep the holiday spirit alive throughout the month. Did I mention, I am a bit Christmas obsessed? But I'll try not to get too carried away...

The Merry Christmas flag garland is the first Christmas craft I made for the year. It took me an entire Saturday to complete it. I am very pleased with the result. I even got to practice my lettering by free-handing each of the felt letters. A very fun project to kick-start the holiday cheer in my home! 

Here are a few detail shots of the characters and things the mantel is decked out with:

I filled these balls with decorative holiday stuff and I think they turned out cute. Very simple but fun, which I love.

And this Christmas terrarium is the second holiday craft I made. I love it, it is so cute. I adorned the terrarium with moss, tiny pine cones, tiny tree, tiny snow, tiny deer and added some flare with tiny stars and tiny bells. I love tiny!

Friday, October 28, 2011

UCDA Conference in Phoenix, AZ

I returned last week from my second trip to Phoenix, AZ this month. The first time was to stand next to my dear friend, Angela as she united in spirit and law with her husband, George. That was a beautiful and wonderful traditional Greek wedding with a flare of modernity, but I am sickened to say, I don't have any of my own photos from any of it.

The second trip was to attend the annual University & College Designers Association conference. It was an amazing trip. Not only did I get to spend some more quality time with my newly wed friends, but I learned a lot of useful things during the conference, met awesome people who do what I do, and even had some extra time to lounge by a couple of the 8 pools at the conference designated resort. Needless to say, the trip as a whole proved to be a very well rounded experience, leaving me inspired and rejuvenated, just as I had hoped.

When I find more time, I'll write in greater detail about some of the things I took away from the conference and the trip as a whole. In the meantime, I'll let the photos do the talking.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Coil Pots

I made these low-fire clay coil pots a couple of years ago but I just recently took photographs of them on my new oak flooring, so I thought I'd add another post to the Ceramics category on the blog. I sure do miss the meditative process of making these...One day, I'll have that kiln I've been dreaming about in my shop and then I'll be claying-it-up until my heart is content.

Friday, September 23, 2011


to my newly customized blog! In effort to establish more of a visual identity for myself, I decided that my blog needed a revamp to go along with my new logo. Without having to get into CSS, I was able to make a pretty decent looking (in my humble opinion) blog layout with the basic tools blogger provided.
Hurray for change!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mira Sol Creative Business Cards

Since I decided on a logo design for Mira Sol Creative, I proceeded with designing the business card. I created two versions; one in full color, if I felt so inclined to use, and one in black and white over brown chipboard because I may have them printed on that recycled business card paper I found online. However, before I commit to having these printed, I am going to use the rubber stamp I had made of the logo and stamp 3.5"x2" cards that I cut myself from recycled chipboard that I have in my garage. That way, not only am I saving money by eliminating printing costs, I am actively recycling cardboard and I am doing it hand.

Without further ado, I present to you:

As much as I loved the idea of the sunburst/eye/pinwheel design acting as the "O" in "Sol", I don't think it is going to work well as a logo or on a business card because it is too boxy and the logo as the "O" just doesn't stand out on the business card when printed. So I think I will hold onto it, in case I want to use it as the design for a shop/studio sign.

Mira Sol Creative Logo Design | Part I
Mira Sol Creative Logo Design | Part II
Mira Sol Creative Logo Design | Part III
Mira Sol Creative Logo Design | Part IV

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mira Sol Creative Logo | Part IV

I think I finally decided on a logo design. I'm going with the pinwheel design for two main reasons: 1) It is easier to paint because of the solid colors and shapes than the intertwining lines creating a geometric looking circular shape thing that I originally wanted 2) A couple of weekends ago, I saw a logo on a cyclist's jersey that was almost identical (but better) to the intertwining lines, geometric looking circular shape thing that I originally wanted.

However, by suggestion of a dear friend, I decided to tweak the colors from the original pastel colors to something more sunny and warm and I think it works a lot better. I also decided to create a stand alone logo, separate from the wordmark version because I like the way it looks alone. I actually ordered a rubber stamp yesterday of one of the black and white designs pictured above, so that should be cool.

Now to put the logo to work....I'd like a new website to go along with it, but while I'm saving the pennies for that, I'll use it for business cards, social media, etc. And one fine day, I'll paint it on my shop wall, window, and sign. *sigh* 

If you are interested in the design process of the logo, check out Part I, II, & III via the links below:

Mira Sol Creative Logo | Part I
Mira Sol Creative Logo | Part II
Mira Sol Creative Logo | Part III

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Gap Between Our Taste and Our Own Work

When I started this blog in 2008, one of the first subjects I wrote about was my taste and what I am attracted to as compared to what I create and how different they are. I noted that I felt it was just part of the process of becoming that separated the quality and aesthetic style of my work from what I am attracted to and aspire to be. Since this particular post, while my work has improved, it still is no match to my own taste. This does frustrate me quite often and at times, I question myself and my path as an artist/designer. But my passion for both leaves me no choice but to remain patient and diligent, so I try to continue remind myself that I am still on the path of becoming or of measuring up to my own taste preferences and that as long as I remain practiced, with my goal in sight, I will, one day be what I've always admired in some of my favorite artists/designers.

I have never really been able to explain this whole idea very well and how I feel when I see artwork/design that is at the level that I wish my own work would be in terms of craft and execution...until today, when I came across a quote, that when read, caused an involuntary, "YES!" (with fist in air) to echo from my office. The quote was apparently said by Ira Glass from This American Life and was posted by a commenter on the Logo Design Love blog.

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

Thanks, Ira! And thanks David Airey of Logo Design Love for posting on the subject! And thanks blog commentor "AVL" on 8/24/2011! Thank you all for the encouraging reminder that I'm not alone! Now my hopes and faith have been, once again, renewed so that I can keep on fighting my way through! Here's to the journey on the path of becoming!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Allivar Creative Logo

My uncle, EW Greenlee is self-publishing a trilogy, The Chosen One of Allivar so he asked me to design a logo for Allivar Creative, an llc that "was created to protect all the intellectual property rights of the author".  Although he made it easier on me to design by producing a concept sketch, I helped to refine it in Illustrator and added a few embellishments. And because it falls in the hand lettering category, as I see it, I thought I'd share it here.

Eddie's concept sketch:
My sketches:
Final renderings (he chose to use the black version. Color version was not my color proposal but rather just a way to illustrate how it could look if he were to choose to use color):

What I thought was so cool about his concept sketch is that he was trying to marry the A and C of Alliver Creative and by doing so, birthed an E for Edward and completely by accident! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Oklahoma Grad Student & Grad College T-shirt Design

Our project manager at the Graduate College wanted OKLAHOMA grad student and OKLAHOMA grad college t-shirts to give to current OU grad students and for our faculty and staff to wear, with script grad student and grad college lettering over a solid collegiate OKLAHOMA font. I could have taken the faster and easier way out by using the scripted font provided by Transcript Press, the company who prints our shirts, but instead I insisted that I take this opportunity to practice some lettering, so I hand lettered "grad student" and "grad college". It is amazing to me how much time I spent trying to perfect (although, with more time, I could have made it even better) the lettering for each shirt by hand and then how much more time I spent perfecting it when I traced it in order to vectorize the artwork in Illustrator. I am getting so tired of tracing what I've already spent so much time doing by hand in Illustrator because it just seems like such a waste of time. (I realize I am beginning to vent, so pardon me while I do, because it feels good) Just thinking about all of the other projects I could be doing in the time I spend tracing the artwork in Illustrator makes me want to cry. I get so frustrated because I have so many ideas floating around in my head but no time to do them! As hard as it can be at times, I keep forcing myself to look at it all in a positive light; at least I am practicing becoming better at the entire process, including the Illustrator tracing process. Perhaps one day that part of the process will be a breeze...but honestly, I think it really is just pushing me further and further into doing everything by hand. Perhaps one day I can afford to hire assistants to do the dirty work for me so I can have more time to work on the part that I love. *sigh* All this dreaming is making me want to take a nap...