Friday, April 27, 2012

aayla in vegas

things i'd miss about memphis if i moved to vegas:
  • color. everything in vegas is the color of sand.
  • memphis' delicious water. seriously, it rivals desani coming straight from the tap.
  • trees. vegas has trees, but they're all skinny & small. yes, i know this is because vegas in in the middle of the desert.
things i would NOT miss about memphis if i moved to vegas:
  • the humidity. it was 85+ in vegas w/ a breeze & i hardly felt it. if it was 85+ in memphis? you know we'd be swimming w/ how thick the air is.
i took a week to visit my little sister, sharon, in vegas.  she's a mommy now.  little aayla arrived 02.07.12, but it was only now in mid-april that i got a chance to see the lil dumpling.  :)

aayla quinn dumer

anakin NEVER slept like this.


unfortunately, the very day i arrived was also the very day sharon's materity leave ran out & had to go back to work @ the vet hospital.  so i wasn't able to spend as much time hanging out w/ her as i would've liked.  but that's ok.  i was still kept occupied.  got to hang w/ the bro-in-law, feed/change/play w/ aayla, hem some pants (sharon requested it), & watch the entire 1st season of "game of thrones".

when sharon finally did have a day off, we went to all all you can eat sushi buffet (oh em gee!!!), the casinos (just to sight see, i have terrible luck @ gamling), & watched the 1st 3 episodes of seaon 2 "game of thrones".
star wars slotgame that caught sharon's eye.  i let her borrow $1 to play...

...& i got 10cents back.  wow.  she should never EVER gamble.  ever.

exciting stuff, yeah?  whatever.  i didn't go to sight-see or be a tourist.  i went to see my sister, hang out, w/ her & her fam, & hold the lil sweet pea.  so, mission accomplished.  :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

learn to sew, dammit!!!

whilst sewing up a pair of slit sleeves on an old duster/sweater (you know, the 1s that were in style in 2000?), i had a thought...  when the boy gets a little older, say 7 or 8, i'm gonna teach him how to work a needle & thread.  oh yes, i can already hear the laughter.  that's ok.  yuck it up.  i'm about to put you in your place.

i don't know why it is that certain tasks are seen as for men & others are seen to be strictly for women.  now, if you're pregnant & about to give birth, then yes, i'd say let a woman handle that.  but things like changing a light bulb?  shit, if you have a brain & a fresh light bulb, change it!  or laundry.  men wear clothes & grime them up just like the women folk, rt?  then a man better be able to turn the knob on a washing machine & dump in some detergent just like a woman.  or cooking.  don't we all need to eat?  yeah, you better get in the kitchen & learn to make a sandwich, instant ramen noodles, or some scrambled eggs, or you starve.  if the zombie apocalypse were to happen tomorrow a pesky spider were on the wall, would you wait on a man to handle it?  you better get a shotgun/an ax/ bludgeoning device shoe & take care of business, ma'am.

all these things make a person self-sufficient.  i cannot STAND a person who plays helpless & will stand aside to let some1 else do what they could do themselves.  i also cannot STAND a person who thinks they're too good to do something & will let who they think is a 'lesser person' do it for them.  not cool.

sewing is the same thing.  i'm not talking about making patterns & selecting fabrics & making a whole outfit.  no no.  basic sewing; simple stuff.  if you have a button pop off a dress shirt, it doesn't take but a min to sew that sucker back on & be done w/.  what's the alternative?  take it to the cleaners & have them do it for $5?  or buy another shirt for $20-50???  really?

at my day job, i encounter so many ladies who admit they don't know how to sew & quite a few will almost proudly say they DON'T sew.  but they are more than happy to let their own mothers do the sewing.  not knowing how is 1 thing, but not even attempting to learn is another.  & i just can't tell you how the latter group makes me feel ill.

the boy will be proficient in sewing (buttons or holes), cooking (breakfast foods because he LURVES him some breakfast),  & will take on zombies do his own laundry like a pro.  yes, he will be a self-sufficient man.  the lady he marries will be glad that they can BOTH do chores & keep the household running smoothly as a team.

give a man a fish, & he'll eat for a day.  teach him how to fish & he'll eat forever. 

i have such dreams & aspirations for him, don't i?

now excuse me.  i need to youtube some 'how to' videos on putting up your own fence...

Friday, April 13, 2012

vector pin up tutorial - lum-chaaaaaaaan!!!

i love animation of all forms.  2d, stop motion, rotoscope, cgi.  i've always been fascinated by how an inanimate picture/object becomes animated.  traditional 2d cel animation is my favorite.  my vector style art is heavily influenced by the look of a cel, w/ the defined outlines & wide washes of solid colors.

i spent my early childhood growing up on an air force base in okinawa, japan.  there was 1 english speaking channel run by the base which ran from 7am - midnight.  after that, you got to stare @ a boring test pattern.  the rest of the stations were straight japanese gold.  it was here that i became aquainted w/ what is now known as anime.  after dinner, my little sister & i would take our baths & wind down for the evening.  1 of the shows we watched before bed was "urusei yatsura" but we didn't speak a lick of japanese, so we just called it the cartoon w/ the green-haired girl.  it wasn't until i was in my 20s that i found out the actual name of the show & the green-haired girl.  her name was lum.

what was it about lum that i loved?  she was pretty, & what girl doesn't idolize a pretty character?  i mean, disney makes a killing on little girls looking up to pretty princesses, rt?  lum had so much confidence, she'd walk around in a friggin tiger-stripped bikini & go-go boots.  oh yeah, & she could fly & shoot lightning from her fingers.  hell yeah.
so you can see why i chose lum as the subject of this tutorial.  anime = animation = cel art = vectors. & lum = tiger-stripped bikini = pinups.  see the connections?  great!  well ok, here we go!  

step 1...i do a quick sketch of what it is i want to render. i even add swipes of tones & shading. scan it & take the sketch into adobe illustrator & keep it locked on the bottom most layer. 
lum sketchy sketch

step 2...i start breaking up the image into shapes & use the pen tool to create the shapes' outlines. everything is a shape. the hair, the body, even the little horns & the pupils of her eyes. i arrange the shapes in separate layers, 1 on top of the next, according to what shape appears at the forefront. for instance, lum's body is 1 whole shape, & her boots are shapes themselves that go on top of her body. you gotta think of it kind of like a paper doll w/ different outfits or hairstyles you can place on top of a template body. it's kind of tricky to do, but once you start thinking of things as shapes & layers, you begin to get the hang of it. **i was lazy so i used brush strokes for the tiger stripes.

now you don't want too many layers because that can the file too big to work on, so it might be easier to tackle 1 thing @ a time. like rendering her eyes on separate layers (the blue eyeshadow, the whites of the eye, the green iris, the black pupil, the black eyeliner & eyelashes). once you've got that done you can group these objects together & keep them on a single layer
outlines, outlines, & oh yeah, outlines.

step 3...add in the shading.  remember, even the shading can be seen as shapes.  you can either fill the shade w/ black & lower the opacity or pick a darker shade of the base tone.
shading outlines done.

step 4...pick your palette to fill your shapes & color your outlines.
yay, colorz!
i know this was a VERY simplified tutorial.  & i know you probably still have TONS of questions on how to do a vector piece.  i wanted to give an overview of how i render.  i'll be going into more detail w/ the different adobe illustrator tools is use, how to use them, complete w/ screenshots & all.  so stay tuned...

Monday, April 9, 2012

good friday zoo excursion

well, i don't know about you, but i had an AWESOME extended weekend.  got to rest & relax & enjoy my little family, but mostly was happy because we got to see the dinosaurs exhibit at the zoo.

(good) friday 2012...trip to the zoo to see dinosaurs!!!
just like a scene from "land of the lost".

the dinosaurs are too loud.  some1 needs to tell them to use their inside voices.

wait!  what's making that noise back there?

the boy wanted to roar like the dinos.

umm...any1 notice there's a t-rex behind us?

& the gift shop strategically placed at the end of the exhibit.  well played, zoo.  well played indeed.

this outting was a stark contrast from our last zoo adventure in summer 2010. mainly because we stayed longer than 30mins. i promise you, even though the boy got in free because he was 1yr old, we paid $30 for 2 adults. so that was like $1 per minute. not cool.  here's a pic of the boy struggling w/ his daddy at the petting farm.
what can i say?  he wanted to do everything except enjoy the zoo that day.  :(

well ok i don't wanna dwell on darker times.  just happy that this yr the family was able to actually enjoy the zoo for longer than 30mins.  & every day since then, the boy's been saying, "& we gonna go back to the zoo to see dinosaurs!"  :)

& now, i leave you w/ this moment of zen...
it's the circle of life, baby.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

a right proper lady, she is

"a right proper lady" WIP
method(s): pencils & inks

she's not done.  i need to slap some colors on her, maybe some textures as well.  trying my hand at mixing up japanese & edwardian fashions.  thinking it needs more details?  like more lace & frilly things?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

when inspiration strikes

have no idea what came over me yesterday.  i was in a sewing/altering frenzy.  went thru the closet & grabbed a few things that i never wear (but had plans to) & went to work.

this was a dress i got a few yrs ago when i use to work at a practically defunct "department store".  it was on clearance for like $7 & i got an additional employee discount.  i LOVE the pattern of the cloth, how light weight it is.  but i'm a gal w/ hips, & the skirt part went straight down.  it did not work w/ my body type.  so...

modeling w/ my sternest "why you take pichure???!!!" look

& now it's a nice, flouncy shirt for spring.

& then i pulled this from the hubby's side of the closet.
i think this was during antone's gigilo/pimp phase that he decided just didn't quit fit w/ his comic book geek persona.  he hasn't worn it in yrs.  but i LOVE the lion design on the back.  i wanted this for myself.  so...

LURVE this design

hmm i might have to revisit this & take in the sides.  it's a little on the baggy side around the middle.  i promise you i am not this ponchy.