Tuesday, May 19, 2015

the Memory Project

A small group of friends from my college decided to do some artwork for a charity group called the Memory Project.

What is the Memory Project?

The Memory Project is a unique initiative in which art students create portraits for children and teens around the world who have been neglected, orphaned, or disadvantaged. Given that kids in such situations tend to have few personal keepsakes, we're aiming to provide them with special memories that capture a piece of their childhood - portable pieces of their personal history. As much as possible, we also want to help the kids see themselves as works of art. To do this, art students receive photos of kids on our waiting list and then work in any medium to create the portraits (drawing, painting, digital art, collage, etc). Next, we deliver the portraits to the kids as gifts. We also take photos of the kids holding the portraits so the art students can see the delivery in action

We were giving a photo of the child and had a few months to create a portrait for that child. You could use any type of art you preferred, either traditional or digital.  I decided to use my copic markers.




I loved that each of us did something completely different to create our portrait for this beautiful kids.


This was a wonderful project and it was so heartwarming to get the photos of the children holding our artwork. 


This was a wonderful experience. My group of friends are talking about doing again next year. If you know any art groups that are looking for a fun and worthy charity activity please tell them about the Memory Project.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Big Day

Yesterday was a huge day for me.  I graduated from college (again)!

Even though this is not my first degree, this one meant the most to me. It fulfilled a dream I had when I was a child — I wanted to be an artist. Now I have the degree that says I have an Associates in Media Arts.

To make the night even more amazing, I was selected from the hundreds of graduates to be the Most Distinguished Graduate. During the commencement ceremony I gave a speech to my fellow graduates.  I was so happy that two of my professors were there to give me courage and support, like they had through out my career at Macomb Community College.


I was so happy with my speech and I was surprised that I wasn't that nervous. I was on cloud nine when some fellow graduates and audience members came up to me after and told me they really enjoyed my speech. It was an unforgettable night.

Here is the youtube video of my speech. My camera operator had a technical issue during the speech so part of one line is cut off, but the rest is perfect.


Now I might have more time to get on my blog on a regular bases and start doing more scrapbooking and card making.  But first on my list of To Dos is to get my house clean again...I've been slacking the last few weeks with final projects and working on my speech. :)


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Here's to the brainy kids...

We do not celebrate the brainy kids enough. You always read about the sporty kids or the drama kids. Even as adults our sports and drama figures get paid ridiculous amounts of money. I know there are some brainy adults that get top dollar, but I believe that is (usually) more deserving.

Well I would like to celebrate a great group of brainy kids. Last weekend I had the pleasure of going to our Elementary Science Olympian Competition.  This was my third year coaching an event at my kids school.  My middle son loves science. He finds joy in studying animal books or learning about rocks and fossils.  He always amazes me with his knowledge and love of learning.

Our team, which consists of 16 (3rd - 6th grade) boys and girls, competed in 16 events.  There were over 30 schools in our division and top 8 in each event received medals.  We medaled in 9 out of the 16.  My son competed in 3 events and received two 2nd place and one 7th place medal.  The really exciting part for everyone involved was when they announced the overall placing. Our school placed 2nd! I think the parents were more thrilled then the kids because we went crazy in the stands.




So here's to those brainy kids. The ones that compete with a different muscle. The ones that think differently and see the world at a different perspective.  The ones that when given a chance will change the world. You guys are amazing!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Command Center

Almost every home has one - Command Center.

This is a photo of our old command center. A big cork board in the little hallway between the kitchen and my office.  I loved it. I had a good system of keeping track of the papers and I usually didn't lose any important information.



When we remodeled our kitchen the plan was to hide the command center. The trend is to have the command center behind closed doors, ours was inside a cabinet.  The problem was, out of sight out of mind.  Yes, I didn't have this big ugly board on my wall, but I didn't have a visual reminder of papers that were needed for school and sports.  I wanted my cork board back but I wanted it to look nicer.

Pinterest to the rescue! (See I actually use some of my pins)

I did some searching and found a couple of ideas on covering a cork board with material.  Luckily I still had the extra material from our curtains and I still had the old cork board.  I got out my trusty glue gun and purchased some decorative furniture tacks from Home Depot and went to work.

I put some hot glue around the frame of the cork board and laid it on top of the material. I had to reinforce the back so the furniture tack would not poke out the back.  For the I just used some foam core board I had around the house.  I carefully folded the corners and glue everything down in the back.

I used a ruler to help me place the tacks at even intervals and sweet talked my hubby into drilling it into the wall.  I also brought some really cute owl thumb tacks at target.




Now I have my wonderful command center and it's not an eye sore. I'm so happy to have my command center back on my wall. It's full of papers and reminders and it helps me stay on top of our house hold schedule.



Monday, May 11, 2015

Just a little obsessed

I might have a problem. A slight addiction. Ok...an obsession.

Pinterest.

I recently hit the 5,000 pin mark.

5,000! Can you believe it? What will I ever do with 5,000 pins? But I can not help it. I love looking at the boards and adding more pins. I actually use them, some of them.

I would like to spend some time cleaning up my boards. Reorganizing them and removing pins that no longer fit my life style or interest. It's more fun adding new pins, but I think it's time to purge and clean house.

Here's my top 6 pin boards.

First with 465 pins is my Design board.  I want to break this board done into several different ones based on the type of design, ie. Poster, brochure, etc.

Second with 370 pins is my things worth saying board. I love a good quote. I only see this board growing.

Third with 210 pins is my Harry Potter board. This one surprised me. I know I love Harry Potter but I didn't realized I had pined so many things related to the topic.

Fourth with 208 pins is my Illustrator board. This is a board I need to spend time going through. I've pinned many tutorials that I want to work through to improve my Illustrator skills.

Fifth with 194 pins is my Food board. This number is actually much higher but I have different boards relating to food. This was one of the first boards I tried to reorganize and now I have sub Food boards like Food: Chicken, Sweet Tooth and What a Crock, just to name a few.

Sixth with 192 pins is my Card Ideas board. I have plans for this board in the Fall when I have more time.

In total I have 71 boards.

Are you addicted to pinterest? If so, what is your top pinning board?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Art Work

As I mentioned in this post I was very nervous about taking my drawing class at school. Now I wish I would have taken it earlier.  I'm really enjoying the class and I'm now thinking of taking more illustration courses.

I'm still always amazed when I start to see my drawings come to life.

I remember walking through the halls at my college and seeing samples of students work and thinking I can not do that, especially when I saw the portraits people created. Now I walk down the hall see my artwork on display and I think wow I did that and it is awesome.  Sorry, I'm not being humble but I'm just so thrilled.

Here's the last drawing I had to do for class, the portrait assignment.  If any of you are fans of Downton Abbey you will recognize Maggie Smith's character, Violet Crawley.  She was a great subject to draw.

Rendered using Prismacolor Cool and Warm Grey Markers 


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Identity Crisis

I was recently a statistic. I had my Identity stolen.  I’ve been luckier then most and I discovered this early on and nothing major has happened (so far). 

I found out when I went to e-file my taxes and couldn’t do it because a tax return using my social security number was already filed. I was hoping that it was just a typo but the following day I got an email from my credit card company that my card had a charge denied.  Once I got that email I knew something was wrong.

I was surprised how violated I felt.

So what do you do if you think your identity has been stolen?

First, contact one of the major credit bureaus, Trans Union, Equifax and Experian. Check your credit report to make sure nothing has been opened that you did not approve.  Inform them that your identity has been compromised and put a lock down on your credit information.  I also purchased one of there services to monitor my information, it’s a monthly fee, but I feel it’s worth the piece of mind.

Second, contact the companies that you know have been compromised. For me that was my credit card company. They canceled my card and sent me out a new one with a new number. They also put a flag on my account to monitor it closely and changed my security questions.

Third, contact other companies. I called all my credit card companies to give them a heads up. I also canceled any cards that I didn’t use, that included atm and debit cards that I don’t use.

Four, file a police report.

Five, file a report with the federal trade commission (this is for social security theft).

Six, monitor all your accounts closely for a few months.


Identify theft is on the raise. Make sure you, at the very least, get a free credit report each year and make sure your information is correct. All the companies I talked to were great about helping me out and it’s wasn’t as bad as it could have done. I was very lucky.