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Postage Surprise!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I got a little surprise package in the mail yesterday, and it's so exciting that I couldn't help but share!
I shared a little preview last night on Instagram:

Any guesses on what it might be?!
HINT: Before I showed my coworkers, they asked if it had to do with mermaids... and the answer is YES!

They're so pretty! And the details on some of them are pretty insane. I love them all and I don't know if I could even pick a favorite! Did I mention these were completely free?! I use those codes inside Disney DVDs/Blurays to collect points. Since it's October, and the Little Mermaid Bluray is about to come out, these pins were added to the items you could get. These pins are normally $35 and I wasn't expecting them so soon!!

Since they are a collectors item, I certainly will not be wearing them. I'm thinking of getting a shadowbox to display them in my office and they can go right next to my Muppets collectors stamps.

Have you gotten any fun surprises in the mail recently?

Blog Redesign // FDWoodward

Friday, September 27, 2013

I don't get a chance to share a lot of the design work that I do in any given day (as I have a full-time graphic design job doing things that I can't share), but finally - here's something I CAN SHARE! A few months back, a college friend of mine posted on Facebook that she was looking to revamp her blog's look and design. I jumped at the opportunity!

Felicia is a fantastic artist - she's so colorful and adorable and the original design definitely matched. Her primary focus of her blog was her artwork but she wanted to add a few more topics. And in so doing, she wanted to retain the electric pink and yellow look but wanted to move in a more minimal direction with a hint of whimsy. When she mentioned that she loved argyle, something in my brain clicked and I had an idea for some social media buttons... and a design was born!

I put together a little style guide to show how I was imagining everything working together, and with some input from Felicia, I moved forward!

So here's a little glance of the design as a before and after:


I can't explain how much different this is, not only from anything else I design on a daily basis (I work for a engineering company... I'm sure you can imagine) but from anything I've really designed, ever. Coding this was insane! I'm proficient in HTML and coding responsive designs, but working the responsive code into Blogger was a bit of a challenge, but I think I nailed it! It translate well to different screen sizes and other devices.

A big Thank You to Felicia for letting me be a part of this blog redesign! You should definitely head over to her blog and check out her artwork - show her some love, and of course see the new design and get a real feel for how it works.

If you're looking for design work, or even a blog redesign of your own, send me an email. I've got a couple of big projects going on right now (that are in their final stages), but I'd love to work with you!

Fake Wedding Surprise : The Most Epic Work Prank

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I work with some pretty fantastic people.  The type of people that I gladly hang out with outside of work; one such person is June*.  Keep in mind during this whole post that this is not the first prank that we've played on her... 

So June went away for a week to Las Vegas and somehow managed to miss her flight.   Her coworker Julienne* and their supervisor Flynn* had a long email chain going about how June wasn't going to come back because she ran off and got hitched - she was in Vegas, after all.  And she DID send Julienne a photo of a chapel!

Julienne told me of all of this and requested a small banner and a photoshopped image of June and her groom - and ELVIS!  We thought June was coming back the following day, so this whole thing started off very small.

We ended up having the full week to continue, and this whole prank quickly turned into sooo much more.  It was mostly Julienne and myself, but Flynn definitely had a hand in this too.  Before we knew it, there were balloons, streamers, flowers, a Congrats card, gift-wrapped [empty] boxes, Jordan Almond party favors, Champagne, AND A CAKE!! 

No joke.  It was pretty insane. 

And the more we did, the more we were terrified that June was going to be upset - or that people were going to think that she actually got married.  She did not!

June returned Friday and it was well received - the cake and champagne definitely helped. 

And what do you think of that cake!?  That was made by yours truly.  I invested in a small cake pan from Michael's and some gold food spray paint.  The bottom tier was vanilla and the top was strawberry.  Most people didn't believe that it was even real at first!  

We were all under the agreement that this was the most epic, original office prank we had ever seen.  And it was really cheap!!  All of the balloons, streamers, flowers, tablecloths, picture frames, cake platter, and cups were all from Dollar Tree.  The only significant items were the Champagne and Cake. 

Julienne and I joke that we need to start a 'Fake Wedding Planning' company and we'll call it 'Go Big or Go Home.' 

*All names have been changed to protect their identity and privacy.

Thursday Art - Teal Team Tara : Tulip Tattoo

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Let me first start off by saying that alliteration is my favorite part of language structure - as made obvious by today's post title!

It's been a while since I've shared any artwork (and I want to get back into posting art on here) so I'm going to share with you a tattoo design I just recently finished. 

A cousin of mine was diagnosed with stage-two cervical cancer a few years back and passed away last year on my birthday.  Since I wasn't very close to her in recent years, I felt that I needed to do something for her.  So after her passing, I set up a donation campaign called Teal Team Tara to help raise money that would help benefit her husband and her four children. 

Her passing definitely brought my family in NY closer together as my Mom and other cousins all chipped in and did what they could for the husband and the kids on a weekly basis.  And with the one year anniversary of her passing quickly approaching, I was asked by the family to design a memorial tattoo.  

Tara's favorite flower was the tulip and her favorite color was purple.  From there, I started sketching.  It needed to have the teal ribbon (though, usually it's shown as a white and teal ribbon).  After the first sketch, my Mom asked if I could make it look like the ribbon was the leaves of the flower and to also include her names and the dates. 

Here are the stages that this tattoo underwent:

Initially, in my original sketch, I was just doodling and didn't really go off of reference.  Once I found the reference I needed, they artwork greatly improved!!  Haha!

I did throw in a few little hidden hearts, both in overall shape of the petals, as well as silhouetted by the piece itself - which you can see below:

And once I was finished with shading and the like, I added the name and dates.  And then I remembered that the ribbon is usually white & teal, but teal is also used interchangeably.  So I did some color correction and a bit of repainting and gave them a teal and white option as well.

My Mom, my Aunt, Tara's two sisters, Tara's oldest daughter and her niece would all be getting this tattoo.  I believe they're all going sometime this month or next, so I'll post photos when they're all done!

It's pretty funny, but when I sent this picture to my mother (and the group), I talked to my mother later that day and she told me that she was in tears because she was so happy!  Yay!

Also, side-note - apologies for the watermarks, I would just like for these to NOT be stolen.

Snow's Poconos Trip

Friday, August 23, 2013

I shared Gadget and I's adventures in the Poconos from this past weekend already... but what you didn't see was all the fun and excitement from the one other family member that went - Snow! And honestly, if you follow this blog, you should have known that Snow was going to make his appearance!

It all started Friday. I took off from work, initially thinking we were going to leave for the Poconos around noon (but it turned into late evening before we left). Since I had most of the day to do whatever - I took Snow in to my job to meet some people... and get him out of the house. Let's recap that shall we... I took off of work - and still went TO work.

Snow thoroughly enjoyed the short trip to my job - especially being able to sit in the front seat!

Then we finally left for the Poconos - we arrived late Friday night and he proceeded to run around like a mad man - he got to see so many people and places, all in one day!!

But on Saturday, he got to go on a nice long walk and roll around in the grass most of the day. (I do have some pretty hilarious video of this too!)

On Sunday, he was worn out most of the day. He relaxed with me on the porch for a while (and got to enjoy some yogurt), and then went off exploring with Gadget's father.

I've never seen the pup so tired before. When we got home (at 4AM!), he barely made it out of the car. He made a slow b-line for the house and waited for us to open the door and went upstairs, right to bed. He was exhausted! I'm so glad he had such a great time.

Not Snow related... but how cool is this bird that we saw while we were in Forever 21?! He was just chillin' on this guy's shoulder. His name was Willey.

Weekend Trip & Sky Diving

Thursday, August 22, 2013

We went to the Poke-Your-Nose!! I joke of course... we did go up to the Poconos to visit some of Gadget's family. Friday was his birthday and Sunday was his sister's birthday, so it was a little family get-together. There were 10 of us - which, for his family, should be categorized as a TEENY TINY family get-together.

His father has a house in the Poconos that I love visiting because the house is gorgeous and is FULL of art from his travels around the world. There is so much natural light in his house, it's pretty spectacular.

We left Friday evening, picked up our nephew and were on our way - it was a 4 hour drive. I was shoved in the backseat with Snow and tried to sleep as much as I could. Everyone else arrived Friday evening and Saturday morning. Once everyone had arrived (and everyone else was awake), we goofed off outside for a bit - well, mostly Gadget. Side note - you see that awesome Deadpool shirt he's wearing, I got him that for his birthday - it's a pretty badass shirt!!

Never a dull moment in this family, Gadget's father decided a great family activity would be to go sky diving (or as my mother-in-law would say, "plane diving"). The airfield was right down the street, and the planes actually pass overhead of the house as they climb and every once in a while you can see a parachute from the porch. It's pretty cool.

There were four of us who did NOT jump. I was perfectly comfortable on the ground, taking pictures and video. They had a blast though! I did get to really get a lot of use out of my 10x zoom lens on my iphone, which was really cool - it's really the only reason I was able to get some of the shots that I did. The picture of the plane below... that's WITH the 10x zoom lens. That plane was really high, and you could barely see when people jumped out - they were as small as a pinhead in the sky. It was pretty crazy.

Don't they look like astronauts!?  I'm so unbelievably proud of Gadget - next time, maybe I'll join in... MAYBE.

Make It Monday : Laminate Tile Desk Cover

Monday, August 12, 2013

Good morning, it's Monday - which means it's time for another Make It Monday!!
I'm on a roll - 3 of them in a row!

In a never-ending attempt to organize my office, my massive desk has been at the very heart of every re-organization that my office has gone through. It's technically two IKEA Linnmon table tops put together to make one giant kaiju of a desk (yes, I said kaiju - ie. giant monster - and yes, I saw Pacific Rim). Put together like this, the desk measures 78" x 48"...ish. (78¾" x 47¼")

When we moved >cough< last March >cough<, the desks did not make it to the new apartment in one piece. Someone's foot when through the top of one of the desks, and said person decided to try to hide it. There were also a ton of other scuffs and scratches in the same table top - the other table made it safely. After settling in, I filled the gap with expanding foam and painted the top black.

Unfortunately, it was VERY noticeable. Both from the uneven-ness of the top as well as the paint. I tried covering the whole thing with contact paper, but that didn't work out well - both because of the material and the seams. But I knew I wanted to cover the desk with something...

So when I saw Erin from How to Nest for Less cover her craft table with laminate flooring, a light bulb went off in my head. I didn't want anything dark though. My office doesn't get a whole lot of natural light, and that giant black desk sucks all the light out of the room as it is...

I went to Home Depot, looked around a bit, priced out some stuff... and waited. My cheapest option was going to be $30, and we've had other things going on, so it was going to have to wait longer.

Until, one day while grocery shopping at Aldi, I passed by the clearance rack and saw a couple of boxes of laminate tile. Most were dark... and then there was this beauty!

Take a look at that price! Yes, that says 75 CENTS - now THAT is in my price range! Haha

I did a quick count to make sure all of the tiles were in there, and this bad boy came home with me... and then proceeded to sit in the trunk of my car for over a month. Until last weekend, when I decided to get my butt in gear and get moving on the revamp!

I did have to cut down the tiles to fit, and I wanted to make sure there was still a seam where the two desks meet, so when they have to come apart, it doesn't destroy the tiles. But that wasn't so bad.

sorry it's so dark - the sun went away by the time I finished. 

Once I was done, I set my computer up (that I haven't touched in forever)! Now, everytime I walk in my office I smile! It looks wonderful!!

This was just part 1 in my office revamp, and this past weekend, I worked hours on organizing and cleaning. So more pictures will come as I progress!

Thanks for visiting!

Make It Monday : The Cake is Not a Lie!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Welcome to another Make It Monday! Last week, I did some more baking for my buddies at work. They were "angry" that I brought in more goodies, but were happy to oblige in eating said goodies. Because we're all a bit on the geeky/nerdy side (and especially since every time I bring in a cake, someone always has to say "The Cake is a Lie"), I decided to have fun and make a PORTAL CAKE!

Portal is a pretty awesome game, and if you like puzzle games - this game is right up your alley! In a nutshell, you move through a series of puzzles that must be soled by using the portal gun - which creates a visual and physical connection between two different locations in three-dimensional space.

It's a super fun and hysterical game, albeit very short.

Throughout the game, you hear and see references to a 'cake' at the end of all the levels. "The Cake is a Lie" is also referenced many many times in your environment - presumably by test subjects before yourself.

Portal and the cake is © 2013 Valve Corporation

ANYWAY, on to the cake:

As you can see in the game screenshot above (the first image), there is a crunchy exterior. To achieve that effect, I had some fun and used COCOA PEBBLES (which in hindsight, was a fabulous idea!!!)

The timing of the cake worked out well, because one coworker's birthday was a few days before - and he's a big gamer (and he's the one we made cut the cake for a photo-op!).

The cake was a hit - and was pretty delicious!

Make It Monday: Gold & Glitter Shoes

Monday, July 29, 2013

It's been a little over a month since my mother told me she needed my thrifty/crafty talents. I was given a task : find a pair of shoes that were gold and covered in gold glitter. Trying to find out what type of shoe she wanted was like pulling teeth, and I kept finding loads of sparkly shoes on my various trips to the 2 big thrift stores by me...

...but they were either a) the wrong color, b) not the right size, or c) had a super high and skinny heel.

Then I found these pale tan babies. I sent off a photo to my mom and told her that I could paint them and cover them in glitter. For $5 - it was about to go down!

I started by covering the heals in painters tape and filling the inside with newspaper. I pulled out my trusty gold spray paint (that I used here on a tiki jar and a stegosaurus).

They dried overnight and the following evening, I started putting glue on the shoes and covering them with glitter. I only did one shoe at first cause I wasn't sure how the glitter was going to hold up - and it was late in the evening, which is why the lighting is pretty terrible in some of these (apologies!)

We weren't really concerned with how well they were going to hold out - they were for a fundraiser dance and that would be the last time she ever wore them. I still didn't want glitter to go EVERYWHERE, so I clear coated them before packing them in a shoe box (that took up half of my suitcase).

We landed in New York and got out to my Mom's... and I was impressed with how well they held up to being tossed around.

These were a huge success and I look forward to painting more shoes in the future!!
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