April 4-10, 2010

April 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

001 – This week opened with both the celebration of Easter and a big day in Geek History. Think outdoors, one high tech gadget that is getting its 80 minutes of fame, sugary goodness, and a gear up for Earth Day.


PHOTOGRAPHY : :
I’ll start my first blog issue on a personal level. The past few months had me focusing on photography and all of its goodness – from composition to lighting. Previously, I completely relied on ‘auto’ but, now, I’ve joined a photo group and am experimenting. It’s completely a learning curve and I will (no doubt) be asking (aka: begging) for your opinions and advice on my own photos. But, until then, you get my lovely perspective on the fine art of photography.

On a basic level, my love for the skill is for the realistic feelings a photo can conjure up. Yes, that can be true for all other types of art – but photography has the added appeal of being real. A photo of a child laughing is really a child laughing. A photo of a child crying is really a child crying. Any feelings of peace, anger, joy, sadness, or even hope are all real because, well, they’re real. I find that if you truly think about a feeling (or two) a photo passes to you when you view it, you’ll find your passions. Perhaps passions worthy of fighting for. (photo by Jörg Lehmann)


Some of my passions:

The finalists for the THE PIONEER WOMAN’S “GREEN PHOTO CONTEST” and the winner is… by ‘Roxley’ (via @THEPIONEERWOMAN) The boy’s eyes are stunning against the subtle green background. He looks both at peace and knowing.Or, he just wants one of the Peeps below.
FLOWER” is the most commonly searched for word on Shutterstock. Personal Favs: by Hal_P, Elena Yakusheva and Ashley Whitworth (who is she waiting for?)
I love the beautiful continuity of this SPIRAL GALLERY.Not a new concept but every time I see a never-ending circle of motion, I just keep staring at it. Am I looking for the end? What would the echo sound like? Do I want to see if I can fly?


EDIBLE ART ::
(or sites that make you want to eat)

A great NYTimes.com article: FIRST CAMERA, THEN FORK was posted about the obsession people have with taking food pics before they take a bite. Admittedly, I don’t take snaps of the dishes in front of me, but perhaps I should, if for nothing else, to bring in those fans from Ecuador.

Case in point, JAVIER GARCIA (a 28-year-old neuroscientist in Southern California) has blogged nearly 9,000 PHOTOS OF ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING HE HAS EATEN. Bon appetit, Javi!

And, as for that “sugary goodness” I mentioned… MARSHMALLOW PEEPS + SUSHI = PEEPSHI ::
Just to put it out there: I do love sushi and a fluorescent peep or two but I’m not so sure of this combo. Good thing these creations only look like sushi and the ingredients are actually Peeps, Rice Krispies, and Fruit by the Foot. Sugar on a plate. Beautiful sugar.

And, just to cover all the plates (get it?!), here are THREE GREAT RESTAURANT WEB SITE TIPS to follow. (via @SFOODIE)


EASTER DESIGNS : :

With Easter starting the week, there have been many Wallpapers and Textures created. I do confess that I didn’t download any because 1) I don’t like a busy desktop taking over or seeping into my sub-conscience while designing something else and 2) if I did add one, it wouldn’t be a cheery bunny or colorful eggs. I’m too dark and jaded for that. Doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a nice design though (and you can see by the image I chose here what I mean about ‘no cute bunnies’ for me).

‘Smashing Magazine’ offered 80 free wallpapers created by designers across the globe – with versions of each design with or without calendars included. Word on the street is that SMASHING MAGAZINE’S OFFERING THIS WALLPAPER “CONTEST” ON A REGUALR BASIS.

DESKTOP WALLPAPER CALENDAR: APRIL 2010 (Easter Edition) (via @SMASHINGMAG)

My fav is designed by: WOUTER SIOEN from Belgium – but I’m not sure which I like better: the design or the message.

“Everyone sometimes needs some change in life. Maybe April will be the right time for your revolution”


But, like I said, it was Easter, so I suppose I should post something in celebration. I threatened cute bunnies, but there were fuzzy chicks too.
CUTE & COLORFUL EASTER WALLPAPERS (via @COLAJA)


GRAFFITI ART : :
I realize that Graffiti Art probably won’t be featured in any spring catalog next to a budding tulip but it’s completely worth mentioning anyway. I have a growing love and appreciation for it and find it inspirational.
Think about it – Urban Art uses such a strong blending of styles, brush strokes, colors, the outdoor elements and, of course, the message itself. If done in the true original spirit, I suppose all graffiti should also be created in the dead of night with one ear alert for sirens.

Star Wars Stencil Graffiti (via @bitrebels)
Personal Fav: Han Solo (stencil and Lego) I’m not sure if I like this one so much because of the stencil or the Lego or the combo – but the angle is the finishing touch that makes it work.


I can’t read the description in the site but this is really beautiful art…
60 REMARKABLE EXAMPLES OF GRAFFITI ART

Personal Fav: by ENDRAUM The vibrancy of this display is simply awe-smaking. Bet there are a few wrecks when passing by this building.



This is a wall stencil I came across last week in Palo Alto, CA, next to a Starbucks (go figure).
The white cranes are striking against the orange background. One extra love of the design is credited to the keybox. I love that you can find and learn each foliage (I think I said that right). Due to the signature on the wall, I was able to track down the artist (also in Palo Alto)… Bille et Plume


TUTORIALS : :
CREATIVELIVE : A wonderful and free (even more wonderful!) resource was announced on April 7th. The announcement (made by @CHASEJARVIS) and was fun and personal in itself – live from a hotel hallway – with a service cart passing in the background.

With all of their online classes offered free for live viewing (only pay for downloads and saves) there are some beauties to choose from – CS5 programs, digital photography, and HTML to name a few. This is truly a great idea and opportunity that encourages education and self-improvement from some brilliant minds in the industry. (via @CREATIVETECHS)


GRID LAYOUTS : I love love love a SOLID GRID LAYOUT. They’re not only easy-to-read but crisp and clean to boot. Everything in its pretty place. Sans clutter. Like a convenient cubbie for crayons, rounded scissors and my afternoon snack. Okay – I may have some OCD.

Right now, the ‘960 Grid System’ is the talk of the town. Obviously not the solution for every site out there but has been highly recommended for web, mobile, and even a great CV layout.
THE DESIGN GRID (via @THEDESIGNGRID) is a great resource to keep handy and also explains it best:
“…the grid system focuses on grid design essentials for flexible, coherent and stable design development…”


And – two more great resources:
TUTORIALS AND INSPIRATION TO UNLEASH THE 960 GRID SYSTEM (via @CREATIVE_FAN)

960 CSS FRAMEWORK – LEARN THE BASICS (via @DIVITODESIGN)

I’m a big crazy believer in clean code and doing it yourself. As a perfect example, I first created this blog with the availabilities of this site – but when I looked at the code, I couldn’t stand the incredible mess it developed. Unreadable with tons of extra unnecessary code. So, I deleted it all, started over under this url.

To help ease the process (from one designer who can code to another), save this handy lit’l tutorial in the directory that you refer to often and easily. Its aid with both grid and non-grid layouts are the AMAZING CSS3 TECHNIQUES YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.


FREEBIE DOWNLOADS : :
ICONSWEETS by YUMMY GUM (via @YUMMYGUM) is a set of 60 free vector icons which are perfectly suitable for iPhone and iPad applications or a web project.

And, found this beauty of a set to grab: Free Download 16 Beautiful Web Icons Sets. It really is a nice set of icons. (via @NBSOFTWARES)


WEB SITES : :
Each week, I’ll add a few sites that I just discovered… a lovely little list of web inspiration that I stumbled across (either literally or figuratively) and fell madly in lust for. I’m sure (or not sure) the content is worthy of it’s own attention but my admiration is purely for the design and layout itself.

Taste the never-ending Skittle rainbow. It’s design is wonderfully simplistic, fascinatingly weird, addictively colorful, deliciously yummy, and it never ends! Just trace the vein, bro. (via @SKITTLES)

BOUNTY BEV is a wonderfully simplistic design – taking advantage of basic curiousity, sans high-tech abilities. I found I just wanted to see where the road led to and read in the process. Plus, I imagine that brew is pretty damn tasty.The structure is easy to navigate, the site is informative and the design fun & light-hearted… It’s the road to a good pour (via @BOUNTYBEV)

The ALANNAH HILL Secret Garden is so over-the-top and has no real reason to have such overkill – but, damn, it’s beautiful!The site has gorgeous vintage softness and weird image placements. Why there’s a flamingo, camel and ballerina in the Contact page is beyond me but I love it – especially the flamingo’s reflection.If any confusion grows with where to wander off to, just trust the gnome.

Lastly – DIESEL’S AD CAMPAIGN is one that I fell madly in love with; want to adopt, pet and feed Twinkies to. Diesel is both inspirational and goofy. The slogans are bold, risqué and make you think. Basically, it’s perfect and Diesel is stupid.I’M WITH STUPID TOO.

SMART MAY HAVE THE BRAINS, STUPID HAS THE BALLS. SMART CRITIQUES. STUPID CREATES. SMART MAY HAVE THE PLANS, BUT STUPID HAS THE STORIES. SMART HAD ONE GOOD IDEA AND THAT IDEA WAS STUPID. THE STUPID, YOU SEE, KNOW THERE ARE WORSE THINGS THAN FAILURE – LIKE NOT EVEN TRYING.

(via @PLANETDIESEL)


DESIGN INSPIRATION : :


This CALLIGRAPHY SET IN IMGFAV is “Awwwwwwww…”
“Hang in there dear. Things will get better soon.”

And, now I want a cookie.


THIS DAY IN HISTORY : : April 3rd, 2010 : :

A big day in Geek History starts my first “This Week” one day prior to the week even beginning. But, regardless, it’s obviously worthy of noting. As many a people queued for hours to get their little hands on one, the Apple iPad enters the market. My personal opinion is that it’s a giant iPhone that I can’t even make a call on. And, yes, I want one. Oh, how I want one. Bless Apple and all their endeavors. IMHO – it’s exactly the kind of drive and innovation that makes other’s try harder and ‘think different’.

I came across IPADGEEK – an amazing site that lets the geek take a peek to see how different a current site looks on the iPad. Clever – but be sure to read ‘About’ to get the lowdown. One glitch is that even though you may see Flash working in this demo, it won’t work in your actual iPad. I would imagine there’s a wee bit of a code that could disable Flash in their site alone – and that’s my two cents. Still pretty cool!

The ‘The New York Times’ offered a two-in-one review for the bipolar iPad – One for Techies and One for Everyone Else: LOOKING AT THE IPAD FROM TWO ANGLES

And, another great review worth mentioning is from Engadget – covering Hardware to Software to Applications: APPLE IPAD REVIEW (via @JOSHUATOPOLSKY / @ENGADGET )


Have a great week…
~ Jennifer

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