Monday, February 27, 2012

Time for New Design

Hey all, I was getting tired of my blog design.  I'd love to completely revamp it and make it super awesome but Idon't have time to do it myself and I don't have the monies to have someone do it for me, so I once again used the templates.  However, I'm loving my new design and would love for you to stop over and tell me what you think!
Hope your Monday was a super funday!

Fasting: Two Days Down

So, over the weekend, I started my juice fast.  Well, technically it isn't a fast when I am drinking tons of juice, but you get the idea!  For two days, I did nothing but juice my fruits and vegetables for consumption.  I consumed five 16oz drinks each day of my "fast" and wanted to share with you what I observed in the process.  The biggest thing that gets me the most excited is the weight loss.  In two days I lost 9 pounds.  Mind you, a lot of that is water weight, but 9 pounds is 9 pounds! 
On Saturday I had several bowel movements.  They started out normal but got dark and running toward the end of the day.  I felt hunger pains in my tummy, but it was not unbearable.  If I felt too hungry, I just drank another juice.  I felt pretty energized as well.  The one thing that I was not fond of was the headache.  This is quite common though because your body begins ridding itself of toxins.  that night I slept so great!
Sunday brought about some really great things.  I had to urinate a lot.  Although, I had a couple moments when I felt hungry, it was not nearly as bad as it was on Saturday.  The bowel movements stopped.  However, something interesting did take their place.  I had a ton of gas.  This gas was not embarrassing at all though.  It had absolutely no smell whatsoever!  That was amazing.  Oh, and the energy?  Wow!  It was through the roof.  At midnight I still wasn't tired.  Of course, I knew that I had to sleep or I would be a wreck for work today, so I went to bed.  Despite not feeling tired in the least bit, I fell asleep the second I laid my head down!  Amazing!
Today is day three of the fruit juicing.  So far, the energy continues to climb.  I am not hungry at all, but have had some lovely juices so far today.  For breakfast I had watermelon, celery, and granny smith apple juice.  I've known that watermelon is 90% water, but it still surprised me at how much juice came from it.  I'm now enjoying a spinach, blueberry, and wheat-grass juice.  This one doesn't have much flavor, but it quenches my dry mouth that I have today. 
Tomorrow I have a drive into the city, a two hour appointment, a drive back and then a one hour appointment, so I want to keep up this energy.  I also have another drive and appointment on Wednesday.  I originally planned to start my water fast tomorrow, but decided that it might not be the greatest idea.  I would hate for my energy levels to sink while I am in my appointments or worse, driving.  I decided that I will start my water fast on Wednesday after my appointment.  I will break the fast on Sunday, giving myself a day of rest before returning to working from my workplace.  (This week is a work from home week.) 
My plan for breaking my fast on Sunday consists of drinking a mixture of 50% water and 50% watermelon celery juice.  I will continue straight water for 4 hours after this combination, then drink another water/juice mixture.  Again, I will stick to pure water for another four hours.  Once that time is up, I get to drink a glass of 100% juice!  Hooray!  Then back to another 4 hours of fasting before bedtime.
On Monday (or day 2 of my break fast) I will limit myself again to just juice and water.  On this day I won't need to water the juice down though.  Now, because I will be working at work, I will probably need a little pick me up.  For this little pick me up, I will stick to watermelon which has a lot of water within them.  They are also pretty bland and won't irritate my stomach too badly.  On day three I will continue this same routine.
Days four and five will be the same thing, but I will allow myself to eat three apples or pears.  Day six will be a wonderful day as I will be able to enjoy a small vegitable only salad in addition to my apples, pears, juice and water.  Providing my stomach is doing fine, day seven will be a "normal" day.  Of course, normal for me from this point forward will consist of eating a RAW diet.  Fruit's vegetables, nuts, seesds, and sprouts will consume my menus.  for this I am very excited.  I have plenty of gourmet meals planned in order to transitionn between the Standard American Diet (SAD) and a RAW diet.  These things consist of such wonderful treats as "crackers," "cookies," "cheesecakes," "spaghetti," and "chips."  I'll be sure to share these menu items with you as I make them.  However, if you would like, check out the books I posted over the weekend that have great recipes in them to enjoy.
Have a lovely week!

A Little Inspiration to Jump Start Your Week

Happy Monday!
I want to share some really awesome projects with you today along with the links to their amazing creator's blogs.  I hope these pretty things get you out of the Winter blues rut and thinking about Spring coming soon!  Click on the images to be transported to their blog.

Oh, I hope you all have fun with these pretty projects this week.  Enjoy!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

RAW: The Benefits of My Ingredients

Before beginning my raw diet lifestyle, I have decided to fast.  To begin my fast, I have started with a 2 day Juice Cleanse.  After that, I will do a 5 day fast with water.  I am making all of my juices myself.  Some of the important ingredients that I am including in my juice are:  wheat-grass, celery, maca, and coconut oil.  

Here are the reasons that I am including wheat-grass:
 - cleanses the blood, organs and gastrointestinal tract of debris
- stimulates metabolism and the body’s enzyme systems by enriching the blood
- stimulates the thyroid gland
- correcting obesity, indigestion
- it is a powerful detoxifier
- liver and blood protector
- contains beneficial enzymes
- sweetens the breath 
- firms up and tightens gums
- neutralizes toxic substances like cadmium, nicotine, strontium, mercury, and polyvinyl chloride
- turns gray hair to its natural color again
- greatly increases energy levels when consumed daily

Here are the reasons that I am including celery:
- highly nutritious and one of the most hydrating foods we can put in our bodies
- celery leaves are high in vitamin A, whilst the stems are an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C and dense in potassium, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and essential amino acids.
- is known to contain at least eight families of anti-cancer compounds
- butyl phthalide reduces the bad cholesterol
- aids in increasing bile acid secretion for digestion
- special nutrients in the fiber are released during juicing that aid bowel movements
- the potassium and sodium are body fluid regulators that stimulate urine production to help rid the body of excess fluid
- anti-inflamitory that helps with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, asthma and bronchitis
- can significantly help lower blood pressure
- reduce stress hormones
- have a calming effect on the nervous system, making it beneficial for insomniacs
- helps curb cravings for sweet
- eliminator of toxins from the body, which aids in the breaking and elimination of urinary and gall bladder stones

Here are the reasons that I am including maca:
- increases energy, endurance and stamina
- increases  muscular strength
- acts like an anabolic muscle enhancer
- helps the body to regulate hormonal processes
- works as an excellent memory enhancer
- increases  blood circulation in your body
-reduces any condition of anemia
- any wounds in your body heal faster after consuming
- your skin gets a glowing healthy look.
- helps to regulate and stabilize the various systems in your body such as the lymph system, the circulatory system, the hormonal system, the musculature system
-can also support emotional healing such as anger, depression and powerlessness

Here are the reasons I am including coconut oil:
- helps in taking off excessive weight
- easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems
- it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreas
- helps in improving the digestive system
- prevents various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome
- helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
- strengthens the immune system
- helps in fighting harmful bacteria
- it also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, & pneumonia
- helps in preventing liver diseases
- helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases and dissolving kidney stones
- very soothing and hence it helps in removing stress
- stops tooth decay
- contains lesser calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries
-helps in boosting energy and endurance

In addition to these ingredients, I am also including mango, grape, lemon, carrot, apple, pomegranate, and berries.  So far so good.  I haven't really felt too hungry.  However, the smell of real food makes my mouth water!
Enjoy your week

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I'm Going Raw

Last Summer I went raw with my diet for about three or four weeks.  I really felt great, but had a couple of complaints.  First of all, I had not really done much research for this, so I did not realize all the delicious possibilities out there for this diet.  Second, I wasn't supported by my family when I went on vacation and therefor, I started eating regular again.  And lastly, food for this lifestyle can be expensive.  In the past month I have done a fair share of research about this lifestyle.  The more I read about it, the more I want to do it again...for real....for ever!  Here are some of the books I have read about being RAW.

My short term goals for this is to get more energy, clean out my colon, and loose a little weight.  In the midterm though, I hope to loose about 60-70 pounds.  I need to get into my healthy weight group again instead of being obese.  I also need to try to get off of my medications for anxiety, depression, and and OCD.  From what I can tell, this is a great way to do that.  Long term I just want to be much much healthier than I am.  I want to live an active lifestyle and stay around for a long time!  I'm really looking forward to this one.  I will keep you posted for sure!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Good Design vs. Great Design - A visual example

Hello everyone, and Happy Weekend!!  Hooray!  Sorry I have been so crazy busy.  I worked a lot of overtime this week and still had to do school and whatnot.  Speaking of school, I have a design to share with you.  I wanted to share an example of how I bring my designs from good to great.

 I completed some edits that really make it look a lot better.  I messed with the images to add some inner and outer glow as well as a drop shadow and bevel.  I think this makes them pop a little more while not looking like they are floating off the page.  I muted the background color to provide more contrast between it and the foreground.  I changed up the font color for the quote because I really wanted it to be navy blue and was told it looked black.  The contrast is a lot stronger now and makes for better readability.  I also messed with the inner shadow to make it a little more dynamic and match up with the images better.  As for the part, "act like an animal"  I changed the font as well as the font color.  I think this helps with the hierarchy and puts a better emphasis on the entire message I am portraying here.  I want people to act like the animals that do not lie!  Next, I changed to position of that phrase to make it more a part of what was being said.  I wanted to unify it with the quote and did so by placing it next to it.  The differences in color help to keep each part separate.  Lastly, I brought the text closer to the center to give the format a better top to bottom balance.  By doing this I also created negative shapes that echo each other - the negative "L" shape on top of the design flips over and repeats at the bottom of the design.
If anyone has any further suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Be More Curious in 2012

A many of you may remember, this year my one little word of focus is curiosity.  You can see that post here!  I want to talk about some ways that you can be curious this year.  Here are some ideas for you:

-when you see a new word and don't know what it means, look  it up
-when you hear about something in the news, read more about it
-look at the ground while you walk, look for interesting things and pick them up
-try a new photography technique
-experiment with a new software
-start an art journal
-start a regular journal
-take a class
-read a new book
-check out the yahoo home page with the stories of the day
-watch a you tube video and then watch the recommended similar videos
-checkout the stumbleupon website
-check out pinterest
-watch some older movies from Netflix or Hulu
-watch CNN
-experiment with color combinations
Check out these great bloggers:
Amy Moss from Eat Drink Chic : Amy always has great links on her blog to interesting blogs and websites.  She has a lot of DIY stuff as well as free printables too!
Elise from Enjoy It:  Elise has amazing talent as an artist and designer.  She often shares her DIY and home projects.  She also shares a lot about her business and her goals.
Leigh-Ann from Freckled Nest:  LA is always sharing great links, thifting finds, crafty ideas, and she offers classes through her business.
Ashley from Under the Sycamore: Ashley shares her talent as an amazing photographer and often shares photography tips.
Molly from Dot Girl Blog:  Molly shares a lot of handmade accessories and fun projects.  She usually has a ton of great links to check out as well.
Elizabeth from The Mustard Ceiling: Elizabeth shares her obsession with Interior Design and you can find a lot of Interior DYI on her blog.

What do you do to remain curious?  Do you have ideas to add, people that inspire you, or blogs to check out?  Let us know in the comments!
Enjoy your week!

Critique Me: Shape and Space

This project turned out way better than I expected it to.  I spent a lot of time perfecting it.  The goal was to create a collage image that emphasized shape and space.  Below the image you can find explanations for what we should be thinking about while creating this.  Basically, the way that I understood it was that the placement of each element was supposed to represent it's distance from the viewer.  Things that I are smaller are further away.  Things that are behind other things are further away.  We also were to make sure that our positive shape and negative shapes were balanced at 50% each.  Come Wednesday, I will have to explain myself and critique my own work.  I'd love to hear some constructive criticism from my readers before I critique it myself!  Let me know what you think of this:

  • Spatial Plane: The spatial plane is the area that your design will be composed within. It is made from the dimensions of height and width. In this case, your spatial plane is 8.5" x 11".
  • Shape: Shape is the illusion of three-dimensional form, created with value, and without the benefit of line work.
  • Positive and Negative Space:
    • Positive space is defined as the subject matter in your collage. This will be defined by the images that you choose. For each positive space element, find an image that you can cut along the edge, thus defining the shape of the image.

      Be sure that your images are of large enough scale that they will work well in your composition. Images that are too small will not work, as you will need too many of them to properly balance your composition.

      Use great caution when cutting your positive space images. Cut cleanly to the edge of the subject using your X-Acto knife. Be sure to use a cutting surface under your image to protect your working area.
    • Negative space is defined as the space that you will place your positive space images on, and relates to the mid-ground and background. Build your negative space as you would a background to lay your positive space images on, and build your composition from the bottom up. Your positive and negative space should be balanced at about 50% positive space over 50% negative space background.
  • Composition: Composition refers to the visual balance within your collage. Will you use elements of symmetry, asymmetry, repetition, rhythm? How will you find visual balance within your composition using your cut shapes? Your composition should be visually balanced with a good ratio of 50% positive image and 50% negative space as a general rule of thumb.
  • Compositional planning: Before you glue anything down, play with your shapes and backgrounds to find the very best visual balance.
  • Scale: Scale relates to the size of the positive images within the composition. To create a well-balanced composition, have elements that are in the foreground, mid-ground, and background of the composition. Remember, things that are in the foreground are larger than in the mid-ground, and smaller in the background.
  • Proximity: Proximity refers to the spatial relationship of one shape or object to another.
  • Overlap: Images that overlap create the illusion of space. The shape or object in front that overlaps an image in the mid-ground or background creates the illusion of space because of this overlap.
  • Image resources: Magazines, brochures, periodicals, junk mail. Find photographic images that are bold and large that you can incorporate into your collage. A minimum of three images and maximum of eight images (including one or two background images) will be sufficient. You may also use found materials, such as foil, string, and textural surfaces to incorporate into your collage.

Let Me Explain

The very first thing that I did for this project was start researching quotes.  I chose the theme of design/art because I really wanted to emphasize the elements and principles of design and have a chance to practice them again in a very obvious way.  As I mentioned before, I believe that the most important element of design is line, so when I came across this quote that spoke of line, I knew that it would be perfect and offer a lot of options for a poster design. 
The first thing that I decided upon was a color scheme.  I chose to use a triadic color scheme to create a strong visual contrast. In a triadic color scheme, the colors create good contrast (I love contrast) but also remain harmonious and compliment each other.  Not one color calls for more attention than another.  Through experimenting, I discovered that it was best to choose one primary color in my palette and use less of the other two colors.  This helped keep the focus on the important part - the quote itself.  I also decided to add in a neutral color for more interest without being overpowering.
My original thoughts about ways to illustrate the quote involved a box, but it seemed too cliche.  I happened to look at some notes I had laying on the table and realized that I have a bad (or good?) habit of writing on lined paper but not writing in the lines of the paper.  This stood out to me as an excellent way to give more meaning to the quote.  I knew that I would have to incorporate this idea into the poster design.  I continued to brainstorm other ways that I could illustrate not staying within the lines.  I came back to the idea of the box and realized that the outside format of the poster could serve as a box and I could create an illusion that my design continues outside of the box.
This idea brought me to yet another idea of repetition.  I knew that my quote was not long enough or popular enough to only use one time if I wanted it to extend beyond the edges of the design.  I would need it to repeat several ties so that the audience would be able to read each word of the quote and piece it all together in the correct order to understand the concept.  I decided to write the quote repeatedly within a text-box larger than the format of my design so that each visible line of text would have a slightly different placement than the ones before it or after it, guaranteeing that each word of the quote would at some point be visible within the design format. 
In the end, I manipulated each line of text so that I could highlight a word on each line in a way that made the entire quote readable in one flowing line. The highlighted text runs from the top left corner and curves around the poster in a way that defys normal left-to-right reading habits but at the same time, it demands to be read in a proper sentence because of the emphasis that the bright pink places on the text. 
To imitate the curving pink text, I chose to curve each line of text as well.  This creates a peaceful rhythm that, starting from the top of the design, seems to ripple down the poster to the bottom, again bringing the eye from top to bottom and reenforcing the readability.  I chose a font that incorporates line in order to once again bring to surface this important element of design.  To show hierarchy within the text, I used a couple techniques: 1) I made some words a larger point size than others (You Don't Have To, and LINES).  I also made these words in all uppercase letters. And  2) I used color to color in the word lines to emphasis it.  Lastly, I chose to make that color go outside the lines of the word "LINES" to complete the emphasis on line and to prove the point of the quote.

Saturday, February 04, 2012