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Archive for March 2013

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Roam in pastures new…

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Things new.

Tools for Digital Business on the Go

It’s been a while since I’ve posted in Plop! about tools for marketing, so today I thought I would share a few mobile versions I’ve been using recently for work on the go. I’ve posted a lot of comments and photos about our time spent at the farm a few weeks ago. What I haven’t mentioned is that our farm doesn’t have internet access. Yep, it’s true! There are places in the world where it is ok to live without DSL!

BUT, my privilege of getting away with the kids for any extended period of time is contingent on my ability to keep up with work in at least some ways — particularly my client blogging and social media work and the occasional emergency design project. No matter the best planning, invariably unexpected needs come up, and although it’s definitely good to put work aside sometimes, I have begun to appreciate more and more the ability to get projects accomplished almost anywhere.

When I’m at the farm or otherwise on the go, I use my 3G iPad and iPhone to keep me connected to the Internet and my clients, and a collection of apps helps me get the needed tasks done. Here are a few I used during our Spring break trip that might be useful for you too:

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PDF READER PRO
This app offers lots of file management features for PDF files including file markup. It’s great for my work on the go because it allows me to transfer files from my laptop to my iPad through iTunes.

The next apps are ones that I use very often in blogging, allowing me to work with photos or images and post directly from my iPad. Each of the photo-related apps save new versions of the images directly to the mobile camera roll.

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PHOTOGENE
This one is almost like a mini photoshop in its image editing capability. I use it a lot for cropping and retouching of images.

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iRESIZE
This app is just like it sounds. It allows me to easily resize images while retaining proportions.

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iWATERMARK
I love this app because it allows me to I.D. images on the go. You’ve seen that I post lots of photos and I like to tag them with the Small Pond Graphics logo. This app lets me take logo image files I have stored in my camera roll and apply them as translucent wordmarks.

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WORDPRESS
According to Mr. Ira Riklis, You can’t go wrong with this one. It offers almost all the same functions as the full WordPress CMS, but on the iPad. It’s super easy and you can even open the web format right through the app. In fact, I’m creating this post with it right now!

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A quick iPad tip: To take an iPad screen shot, press the “home” button (on front of iPad) and the on/off button at the same time and release!

make . Easter Cards & Bookmarks [printable]

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Two weeks ago when the kids and I went to our family farm for Spring Break, my intention was to have some creative down time. And, I did! But, I also took my watercolor paints. As things happen, I really enjoyed getting to play around with them and just have fun with the joy of painting. I painted some plein air landscapes as we enjoyed the outdoors, and I also created a few fun illustrations springing from some of my sketch journal entries. My daughter enjoyed the bunny creations, so I decided to turn them into some sweet little printables for Easter. There are a set of two printable notecards and three bookmarks that could also double as jumbo gift tags. I hope you enjoy them as you celebrate Easter with your little bunnies.

DOWNLOAD PRINTABLES

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On Our Plate this Week

There has been a lot of excitement around my town this week as we’ve launched the very first Starkville Restaurant Week. I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to work on some of the graphics and promotions for the event showcasing great dining options in Starkville. For me personally, it’s been a fun opportunity to create some family memories and to show my kiddos some of the things Mommy does in her work. It’s been a pleasure to hear them exclaim “It’s Starkville Restaurant Week!” as we picked a dinner spot, and to listen to the happenings of the day around a few new tables. Of course, the ice cream shop didn’t hurt the excitement level!

This week, I’ve been trying to visit several of the participating restaurants at lunch with friends and in the evenings with my crew, in part, to get a few food photos to use in promotions. I thought I would share a few items that have been on our plate this week to get your taste buds motivated, headed into the weekend. If you’re near Starkville, I hope you’ll join us through Sunday for a taste of some of our local spots! Enjoy the food and the designs!

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Photos from top:
1. Fried Shrimp Poboy from Oby’s — the sandwich my out of town friends most frequently ask me to ship them ūüôā
2. A newspaper “guide” I was able to design for printing last Sunday
3. Glazed Salmon from Old Venice Pizza Company — the Bambino kids pizzas are my kids’ fave eat out meal, but this looked so good that Baby Girl was willing to try it. And liked it!
4. Grilled Chipotle Quesadilla from Abner’s Chicken — just the right amount of bite in every bite
5. Starkville Restaurant Week poster
6. Sausage muffin and iced mocha with an extra shot of chocolate from 929 Coffee Bar — because can you really have too much chocolate?
7. Goat Cheese & Fire Roasted Red Pepper Sub from Sweet Peppers Deli
8. Ice Cream from Coldstone Creamery — not pictured, the sugar induced dance

inspired by . Amelie Hegardt Fashion Art

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Last week during our down time, I was browsing some of the articles in the latest iPad issue of JENESEQUA. The watercolor and ink fashion illustrations from artist, Amelie Hegardt just took my breath away — especially her use of what art school called “negative space.” It is the areas in the composition that are left void where a part of the picture is implied through the shape of the white space. (That was your art lesson for the day! *grin*) I checked out Ms. Hegardt’s website to see more and I hope you enjoy some of the images I found.
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An alphabet I’ve named “Sticks and Bars”… playing around with hand-drawn letters again.

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I experimented with some “plein air” watercolor yesterday while the kids played tag at the farm hay yard. Kind of a fun way to capture this 3 x 5″ memory.

log . Wood, Stone and Water

As I mentioned a few posts ago, we are at our family farm house in Noxubee County for spring break. We’ve been enjoying some great weather and time together. Through our outdoor escapades, the kids have decided to curate a “science exhibit” of interesting finds. The finds have been interesting, indeed, and the process of collecting them even more inspiring for me. I thought I’d share a little documentation of our pasture journeys in search of water, wood & stone. Our “finding” has including walking, jumping, climbing, painting, building, talking about family history, playing impromptu instruments, searching, laughing, discovering… Fun times! I hope you have the chance to do some of the same this week
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making . Saint Patrick’s Day Mini-Banner [printable]

We’re “hangers” around here. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I hang decorations and signs and pictures to the wrought-iron chandelier above our dining table every chance I get. Whether it’s “happy birthday” banners across the picture window or the latest crayon creations on the entryway or even Baby Girl’s intricate tape sculptures on my office door, we all seem to get into the “hanging” mood. And, I love it! I love the chance to create an air of celebration out of just ordinary days.

I’ve been inspired by some of the really cool paper DIY banners popping up around the internet these days! So, last week I decided to design one of my own in celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day…

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For my DIY mini banner, I decided OUR Saint Patrick’s Day message should be B.L.E.S.S.E.D. The “luck of the Irish” is tons of fun and you can’t go wrong wearing green, in my opinion! BUT, I don’t really believe all our abundant blessings come from that “lucky” clover. They are birthed from God’s gracious hand, paired with our own hard work, the love and generosity of those around us and a pinch of the amazement God set in motion when He made this great world with humans beings in it. So, BLESSED, it is!

I put together some mini-banner flags that can be strung together and hung in celebration of March. AND, with the extra space on the printable, I also threw in a couple of “pinch me anyway” mini folded notes with a more traditional St. Patty’s feel.

Feel free to DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE HERE.

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What you’ll need:
>> card stock to print the PDF file
>> cutting mat
>> x-acto or small utility knife
>> metal straight edge
>> string or ribbon for hanging
>> glue

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How to make it:
1. Print both pages of your “printable” PDF onto white card stock paper. The flags are set up so that your banner will read “blessed” from both front and back.

2. Cut out the diamond shapes of your mini flags using a utility knife and straight edge. On the printable, you’ll cut along the diagonal lines. [Save the horizontal lines for scoring only]

3. Now, use your straight edge and a very light touch with your knife to score the center line of each diamond shape and fold to create your triangular flags.

4. Arrange the mini flags in the right order with your string positioned in the crease. You can determine the space between each flag.

5. Squeeze some glue onto the lower triangle and press the two sides together. I drew a small triangle with the glue, keeping it away for the edges and about a half inch from the string in the crease. This way the flags are secure enough to stay in place when hung, but you can also carefully slide them if you want to change the spacing.

6. Give it a couple of minutes to dry. Then, hang and be blessed!

** For your mini folded notes, just cut out the rectangular shapes (the printable includes 2 folded notes) and score at the center line to fold. The notes would be pretty cute as placecards or mini tabletop decorations!

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