Friday, June 20, 2008

Jay: Only 64?

My uncle, David Bryant Ellis, would have been 64 today.  Assuming my year of birth data is accurate, anyway.  That means he was but ten years older than my oldest brother, the same gulf between me and my youngest brother.  Talk about generational blurring.

He has been gone now for many years, and even though I knew he was markedly younger than my father, he was very “old” by the time he died.  It was unsurprising almost the way it would be for an octogenarian.

David was amazingly talented at drawing.  I see Sadie’s distinctive drawing and think of him.  He loved science fiction and comics, but mainly of the darker variety.  The glum SF for which the sixties were known was just his thing.  I remember him when I read something he might have enjoyed, or wonder what he’d have thought of something in the genre.

Funny how you can miss someone with whom you had such limited contact.

12:48 PM | ArtBirthdaysBooksGeekeryKidsTotally Random • (1) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Jay: Note to Self

Must remember to scan a bunch of Sadie’s drawings.  Which are fascinating juxtaposed against her tendency to have nightmares these days.

I haven’t gotten really comfortable with the new scanner yet.  No good graphics software on that computer, and the scanner is almost too complicated.  I’ll see what I can do, though.

04:48 AM | ArtGeekeryKids • (0) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Jay: SadieArt 1

Sadie draws obsessively, and has started trying to copy letters, which hasn’t worked out great so far.  Besides having ramped up the effort to save some of what she does, we’ve been taking pictures.  Most of them are people, and those have grown in complexity.  Today she drew a snowman, which was different.

This first one, I have no idea what it was supposed to be, but it reminds me of a slice of pizza.  She isn’t saying or doesn’t remember, or there was no special intent.  It’s a somewhat older one, compared to others that may get posted.  I love the little person on it, so I got a closeup to post here as well.

The third picture is different from the norm, but is an intentional depiction of people swimming in a pool.  Apparently she likes going swimming that much and remembers it that well.  Not sure it got saved, but just the other day she was working on a similar drawing, all in red, of people in a pool.

This morning I introduced her to traditional lead pencils and their erasers, so she’s all excited.  We went through shapes and the alphabet, where I showed her how the letters are just combinations and variations on lines, curves and shapes.  When she followed me into the office and was frustrated by the lack of a surface, I gave her a 14” clipboard and showed her how it can hold paper.  She loved that and filled all the sheets before going back to paper on a table.  Anyway, here are the first three I had ready to post (click to embiggen, as always)…


Sadie wandered in just after I posted this, when I was looking at the post and making sure the links to big versions worked.  I had named the little person “littleguy” when I saved it.  Apparently that was appropriate, since she got all excited about “little guy! Sadie Rose little guy.” And that was in the pizza picture, before I scrolled and showed her the closeup.  She loved that and babbled about drawing a little guy with eyes and a mouth and a nose.

09:25 PM | ArtKidsPicturesTotally RandomPictures • (1) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Jay: Come to the Middleboro Craft Fair

You would never know it by the Middleboro PTA’s current online calendar, but there will be a craft fair this Saturday, December 1st, at the Burkland School cafeteria.  The school is on Mayflower Avenue, which is right off the main drag of route 105, near the lights at route 28. actually does have mention of it buried here:

HOLLY DAYS CRAFT FAIR: Sponsored by the Middleboro Elementary P.T.A., 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Burkland School cafeteria. Proceeds from the fair and sales of the ornaments made by the children will be used to purchase books for the elementary schools libraries.

Deb will be in it, so if you’re local enough, you should go buy stuff from her there.  Heck, you might see stuff you like at one of the other tables too.  The proceeds they mention above are the table fees.  We’d love to make back the table fee (which is an amusing term given that you have to supply your own table), though that shouldn’t be that hard.

If you’re not local, now is the time for Christmas shopping onlineDeb has created the coolest snowmen to put in the shop, including so far Kris K. Snowperson and Monica Snowperson, with more to come.  Including Jeremy Snowperson, who came to life while I was typing this post.

Bookmarks make great little gifts.  So do her popular coasters.  There are also dishcloths and towels, facecloths, creatures and aliens in addition to the snowpeople, coin purses and card wallets, and you can make a gift card extra special by using a gift card cozy (holder).

Deb has made a pile of awesome stuff you won’t see in the online shop unless it doesn’t sell in the fair, after which it will filter onto the site.  Some of what is currently in the shop may be available at the fair.

It’s worth remembering that Deb does custom orders or variants on existing products.  For instance, this tic-tac-toe game was inspired by the originalThis drawstring pouch was inspired by this blue drawstring pouch and this small rainbow drawstring pouch.  This custom set of eight coasters was inspired by other coasters done in sets of four.  I know I’m showing you a lot of sold items, but they are great examples of what is possible.

So if you are in the area Saturday, come on by the fair and see some of Deb’s cool stuff in person, but otherwise check it out online.

05:34 PM | ArtBusinessMassachusettsMoneyTotally RandomPermalink

Jay: Anyone Know

How to get crayon safely off the business side of a music CD?

The other day I retrieved a couple Christmas CDs from the floor, where Valerie had been playing with them and had one spilling out of its case.  I have no idea where or how she got them, but they may have been ones I had at the office and brought home.  Which still means she went to some real effort to obtain them.

Just now I went to rip them on the Vista machine, where I have an “xmas” playlist (it astonishes me the words that Firefox doesn’t have in its dictionary - especially being modern Firefox and not, say, Word 97) already, and since I never got around to converting those to MP3, and found them ruined with crayon.  Presumably; I haven’t tried reading them.  I find it hard to believe they would read cleanly enough.


And Sadie’s the one who sobbed when I lectured… yeah, that’s a good word for it, lectured… them about not ruining music CDs, when I doubt she’d ever do such a thing.  Valerie was probably too far removed from the act for it to register.  Sigh…

One of them was a freebie, at least, in the form of all instrumental stuff from AT&T years ago.  The other was a gift from my brother a few years ago.

Meanwhile, I setup the kids at the kitchen table with paper, chalk, crayon stubs, and colored pencils.  They mothed me while I tried to find a sharpener, since Sadie lost both of hers by virtue of being allowed to use them herself.  Then they mothed me again now, which is why they were so handy for scolding.  Sadie has been crouched right next to me, drawing with the unlikely crude surface of my soft-sided briefcase under her paper.  Well, except now she’s squeezed beside me, rubbing my right shoulder, drawing at the desk.  Valerie just wandered back in and thrust one of her shoes at me.  Again.  Then tried to squeeze into a millimeter of space beside Sadie, then tried to touch the Vista computer, which is a sensitive thing right now after she shut it down via the keyboard yesterday.  Sadie is drawing portraits of each of us, one per page, narrating as she goes, mimicking me when I show her how to draw something.  It’s so cute!  She draws glasses on Deb and big curls on Valerie.  I’ll have to take pictures of today’s work.  Or scan them.  I’ve been photographing her art regularly to capture some of it for posterity.

Speaking of which, not only will Sadie get art supplies for Christmas, but also she’s the easy one otherwise.  For instance, she’s old enough for Candyland.  I noticed in Benny’s they had a Dora themed version.  Not sure about that, and didn’t they modify the original a few years back so it doesn’t emphasize food or winning?  Valerie I am not so sure of, besides that she’s stopped eating everything so she could have Play-Doh now, which would probably go over big.  Otherwise she’s pretty easy in a random kid stuff sort of way.

What I’d love to do is make them a widget device they can play with, that has buttons, switches, cords, connectors, plugs, LED lights, and maybe sounds.  Even without getting fancy, I could probably do something out of wood and dead computer parts and a few Radio Shack or junk drawer items, enough to tickle the gadget fascination.

Sadie just ended a long narrative I less than half listened to and couldn’t comprehend with “paper airplane” and requested I make one.  Made a couple for her (and Val, but she’s a bit young to appreciate them) yesterday and apparently it left a big impression.

Apparently the CDs in question were up on a high shelf, out of reach of the kids.  Which brings to mind the half hour attempt the girls made to break into the locked file cabinet the other day, mentioned in a previous post…

03:11 PM | ArtKidsMusicTotally Random • (2) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Jay: Santa

Will have an easy time with Sadie this year.  Art supplies.  She even requested paint specifically.

Her growth curve is cool to watch, and she’s been having a blast with the colored pencils her grandmother got She’s also entranced by colored chalk on paper, which is on hold unyil the chalk recovers from Valerie having dipped it in food.

10:21 PM | ArtKids • (0) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Jay: Doodles of Long Ago

Back when I did Word support, most of the calls were sufficiently easy or had long, dull enough interludes that I had to have a low level secondary occupation for my mind and hands.  I ended up doodling in Windows Paintbrush.  Yes, Windows 3.1, not even 95 yet, using the built-in graphics program.

I started saving my work, ultimately bringing it home on floppies, one of which I found this weekend.  Usually I named the files after the customer I was on with at the time, which will explain some of the odd names.

I pasted a bunch of them, in their original sizes, into one graphic, saved it as a JPEG, realized it was big enough to hide below the fold, created a funky preview graphic a tenth the size, uploaded them, and so here’s the post.

This is just a sampling.  There are three seasonal landscapes.  The first, which would have to be spring or summer, was named Art.  Not sure if that was the name of a customer or a complement to myself.  The next two are named Fall and Winter.  The fourth one is named Balloon, logically.  The next three are Ariel, Web, and Neat.  I guess I was descriptive or opinionated almost as often as I used the name of a person.  The next two are Twilight and Sunset.  The final two are Tariq and Flowers.

I don’t consider myself particularly good at drawing, but it can be fun.  That’s the important thing, even if I can’t pretend to be an artist.

Here’s a sample of snippets from them.  To see the big collection, click the link to reveal the rest of the post.  Naturally these are copyright me and all that.  Unlike the usual pictures, these are not clickable for a larger version.

04:00 PM | ArtGeekery • (1) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Jay: Submit the word you see below

Hey comment spammers, fuck off.

The rest of you, disregard this post.  I am attempting to mess with the results the manual comment spammers from Ukraine, Russia, or wherever they may lurk, get by searching Google the title of this post in quotes for this domain only.  That is why I am marking this post as being in every available category, because then every category should come up as a link in Google that is not a distinct individual post page with comment entry available.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Jay: Save the Alien

Save the universe!

01:42 AM | ArtBusinessGeekeryTotally RandomTV • (0) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Jay: They Never Tell You…

That you also have to be an artist and an art instructor when you’re a parent.

Sadie loves her crayons and long since got the point about using paper; something Valerie has just started to do, even though she continues to think crayons are yummy.  Thus the crayons coming out while Valerie naps.

She also loves company and assistance while using them.  The big thing currently is tracing her hand and your hand, then maybe drawing on fingernails.  It was the hand thing for which she dragged me from the office (Deb being out of the house).  I ended up drawing an entire scene that included mountains, a river, a meadow, a road, a bridge, a horse, a sheep, a pine forest, various flowers, some deciduous trees, a blueberry bush in season, an apple tree blossoming, an apricot tree, fishes and a guy trying to fish for them, a bear, a tourist pulloff with a redwood tree you could drive through, a picnic table, a brick barbecue pit, a giant pic-a-nic basket, a couple cars and a pickup truck pulling what started out wanting to be a horse trailer.  Sadie embellished.

Yesterday I showed her she could trace other things, and how to use “her” red ruler (which I got when I was in my teens) to draw straight lines.  I even showed her how the holes in the ruler could be used with one crayon as a pivot and another to draw a clean arc.  Then there were the freehand shapes, including the various “Lucky Charms.” She was especially intrigued when I turned a square into a cube.

Anyway, in the process of all that, I showed her the trick of drawing straight lines between to other lines in the way that creates an illusion of curvature, kind of like this:

That was a big sixties/early seventies thing, which I picked up on from my brother’s black light posters.  I always thought it was cool.

07:16 PM | ArtKids • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Lest You Miss It

I just want to note, in case anyone missed it, buried under all my subsequent posts, that Deb has a new crochet blog, which is cooler than it might sound.  I challenge you to go there and find the link at which you can see a moebius strip scarf.

In conjunction with this, there are cool things for sale, and will be more you haven’t seen.  The stuff is just amazing.

01:53 PM | ArtBloggingBusinessGeekeryTotally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Jay: Fatzombie

It’s not generally my kind of thing, but I think Fatzombie is a brilliant idea: prints for sale of art by tatoo artists.

I came across it while seeing if this guy I once worked with and haven’t heard from in years turned up online in a search.  Eric moved to Arizona a while back, and appears to have established a name for himself in the tattoo business in Scottsdale.  He operates Fatzombie as a side business.

In a past life, he was TinyMan Graphics, the name spoofing the fact that he is the largest guy I have ever met, making me feel small.  He’s also one of the nicest.  I gave him business advice and helped him with his tax preparation one year.  He did some inexpensive graphics and web work for me.

I have a tendency to relate well to art and design people.  He’s not the first friend I’ve had who went to college for fine arts.

Waaaaay back, he redid the XTreme Computing site for me.  The main page more or less as he did it is archived here, and VB Tips is an example of an internal page under the design he created, which also included cleaning up the format and text colors of the individual tip pages.  Prior to that, we’d settled on one of many variants I created starting in 1997.  It wasn’t bad, for someone who’s not a graphics person.  Indeed, one of my partners hated the redesign by comparison and perhaps never got over it.

When I redid it again to have a minimalist front page, I still used Eric’s basic logo he created based on my concept and rough drawing of the interlinked blue X and yellow/gold C.  I stuck with the text colors.

Another graphic by Eric remains at the old and decrepit XTremeWare page that I may yet do something with, keeping the old business going in the form of shareware and/or software and/or hardware sales.

Where tattoo art is often over the top, and even some of the XTreme stuff is kind of bold, Andover Marker is subdued, distinguished, and superbly done.  Eric did that site for, if I have the relationship right, my former partner’s late ex-wife’s cousin.  I always liked the way it came out.

Digression aside, I thought it’d be cool to point out the tattoo art site and give it the benefit of our pretty good page rank.

03:13 PM | ArtBusinessGeekery • (0) CommentsPermalink
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