Summer 2011 Break

How to take a summer break:

  • Interview during finals week and accept a job (to be an internship) to start in one week
  • Next have a major tooth extraction
  • Add a very sweet new niece, Shalome!
  • Work frantically on a client project
  • Start a new job
  • Try to get an insane amount of things caught up during the days not working
  • Go on a 4 day vacation to the Keys before school starts again… oh yeah!

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What a quarter! And what an end to the quarter!

Saturday of the last week of school as I was still reeling with the relief of no classwork, Theresa and my brother, Stephen, added the 19th grandbaby to our family.

Sweet Shalome gave my heart a healing balm. I look forward to many Sundays ahead, rocking her and bonding with her as I have done many before her. Such a precious gift! Such a joy! Such a blessing to our family.

Loss, Sorrow, and Renewed Hope

This was the quarter that stretched my emotions in all directions.

From the beginning, allergies hit quickly and very hard, causing some scary moments. The remainder of the quarter was spent identifying and clearing my system of these sensitivities. Evening classes were the most challenging, specifically in a classroom that was stuffy hot with little circulation.

A few weeks into the quarter I was diagnosed with a wheat sensitivity (gluten / gliadin), which contributes to the multiple sensitivities that I have been battling. This upended my eating schedule as we also began a candida cleanse in order to calm my over-reactive immune system. By the end of the quarter, I was getting into the routine, but it was quite the struggle. Lainey and Charlotte stepped up and helped in so many ways that made it possible to stay on such a strict diet while attending school and concentrating on homework.

As if that were not enough, my beloved companion and sweet, sweet kitty became sick one night. The next day she was diagnosed with acute kidney failure and she had to be put down right then to end her suffering. Outside of the loss of friend or family member, this was the hardest loss I have ever experienced. The fact that it was so sudden (she was only 14 years old and seemed quite healthy), added to my stress.

This quarter definitely goes down as my most difficult on an emotional level. The renewal of hope is that all this dietary work will end in a lessening of the sensitivities and better health all around.

Gluten-Free: An InDesign Magazine

The final project for Publication Design was to put together a 28 page magazine covering a single social issue. Having just been diagnosed with a wheat allergy and knee deep in research as I was first learning how to change my lifestyle, I chose it as my topic.

This was an activity in detail management! InDesign can be cloogy, but by the time I was finished with this project, I was beginning to grasp it’s idiosyncrasies and to work around them.

Click the photo to go to a flip book of the entire magazine:

Content was gathered from the web and credited.

Photos are primarily pulled from Getty Images and Google and are credited as well.

Special mention goes to my beloved friend and the founder of the Greater Philadelphia Celiac Sprue Support Group, Phyllis Brodgen, who fought for years to bring the issues of wheat allergies to a higher visibility on a national level.

NOTE: This project was taken to my second interview with Rotonics. It played a part in my getting hired for next quarter’s internship. Thank you once again to Beth Remsburg for a portfolio worthy project.

NOTE2: I was pleasantly startled to find this magazine was hung on the wall for the following quarter!

Fairy Dust

Our library assignment was to write a report on two digital artists and then emulate one of their processes/styles.

Phil McDarby captured my imagination. He utilizes his own photos as well as painting to create fantasy environments that the child in me wants to visit.

So that is what I did… a lily pad from the zoo and a painting of my niece, Samantha, create this charming fantasy of a fairy whispering into the flower. Who knows what she is saying, but I like to think of her encouraging the blooms, or maybe coaching a lady bug out of hiding.

Lighting and Mood

My introduction to the mixer brush in Photoshop CS5 did wonders for my pleasure in digital painting. However, I still prefer my brushes and canvas.

Homework: create a mood utilizing light and multiple reference photos.

First one is of a nephew and the second is of King, my niece and nephews’ cat. (BTW, these look wonderful printed on canvas paper and framed.) Things really clicked for me when I completed King’s eye and it looked real.

Publication: College Viewbook

Publication Design concentrates on organizing information and then placing it within a welcoming design, something I love doing. This particular project focused on a viewbook concept (used for recruiting) for an art college.

I love photos and feel they tell the story much better than words, so I chose The University of Arizona so that I could use many of my own photos. It was like a mini vacation and I thoroughly enjoyed the project.


  • Concept for a college viewbook
  • Target audience: high school students and their parents, potential non-traditional students
  • Size 8″x8″
  • Photos mostly by myself
  • Writing comes from the UofA site
  • Created in InDesign CS5

Click the front cover to be taken through a simulation of the actual book.

Matte Painting 1

Computer artist I don’t claim to be. I worked on this and it just got worse and worse. The sunflower was a painting and the landscape was a composite with a photo I took in AZ.

Then I worked on the one below (again a mix of photos and painting) and gave up.  My favorite thing is to paint, but that does not translate over to painting with a computer stylus and Wacom tablet. It is better than using a mouse to paint, but it is not my love.  I am becoming more comfortable with using Photoshop, so am glad I am taking the class.