The road not taken

two-roadsUnfortunately, I am unable to finish school right now.  My son needs me to home school him this next school year, so the degree will have to wait.  Still, I am not giving up on learning.  Here is my plan to keep current:

  1. I am working on my A+ certification using professor Messer’s tutorials on YouTube.  Here is a link to the 801 intro and the 802 intro.  These two tests make up the A+ certification.  Professor Messer also has a website where you can buy his courses all put together, probably a good deal.
  2. I am taking all the classes that I can (one at a time) on codecademy.  They have JavaScript, HTML, and many other hands on classes — and that’s the way I work best.
  3. Using what I am learning, I will be putting together a website.  At the time of this writing, there isn’t much on it, but I will be adding parts and pages from what I learn.  The website is
  4. I am taking a seven week course on social media that my sister-in-law found that is free.
  5. I am also viewing videos on Adobe Illustrator (one of my favorite programs!) by Skill Developer to learn new techniques.  Here’s the intro video for that series.

I hope that this will help me to continue to learn and grow in web design and development.  If you have any ideas that would help, I would be thrilled to hear them.

New Semester New Adventures!

Well it’s a new semester and once again I am swamped in a sea of uncertainty.  This happens each new semester: trying to figure out how the classes work, how the teacher works, and how to meet and work with fellow students.

This semester I am taking two classes — I really don’t know how adults with kids do more (Kudos to you if you do more!  I couldn’t be you).  The classes are a Computer Science class about computer/human interaction also known as HCI and a CIT class about website front-end development.

So far HCI seems to be about the communication between the computer and user and how as a designer you need to understand how the user will interact with your program or website so that you can make it easily understandable and simple to use for the user.  I find the idea to be very interesting.  I am especially interested in one of our text books called Don’t Make Me Think , Revisited  A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug.  It’s a very readable book and I find his insights in the book so far have been right on target.  I highly recommend it!

My CIT class is, obviously, about putting together a website. Particularly the part of the website that the user sees and interacts with.  All the HTML, CSS, and some JavaScript that we will need to do to put together a successful site.  We will be designing two web sites and I will post links to them so that you can check them out.  Feedback would be greatly appreciated.

So here I go on my next new adventure!  I would love to hear from you!  What adventures are you currently working on?

Project 9 Portfolio

Portfolio (

  1. Project Corrections / Time spent:  I spent time correcting several of my projects.  I spent 30 minutes on my imaging project changing my photo and changing some color problems that I found.  I spent 30 minutes restyling my stationery so that it had my logo in it.  I also spent 30 minutes creating a new logo for my logo project, and 30 minutes updating and changing the text on my montage project.
  2. Message: To show my projects in a professional and interesting way.  I want to covey that my designs are interesting and new.
  3. Audience: Potential employers, family members, and friends.
  4. Top Thing Learned:How to put together a professional design portfolio.  How to use InDesign’s paragraph styles to create hierarchy and a uniform look to my portfolio.
  5. Future application of Visual Media: Use what I have learned to create better compositions and give me a better opportunity at employment.
  6. Color scheme and color names: Big split complementary – green, red, purple, and orange
  7. Title Font Name & Category: Vrinda, sans serif
  8. Copy Font Name & Category: Adobe Caslon, serif
  9. Thumbnails of Images used:

the internet

Sources (Links to images on original websites / with title of site):” What has the Internet evolved into nowadays”

Project 8 Brochure

front brochure

Front of brochure


Inside of brochure

back brochure

Back of brochure

inside flap folded

Folded inside flap

  1. Description: Brochure for a fictional mountain biking company
  2. Process (Programs, Tools, Skills): I used InDesign to arrange all the pictures and text boxes and, to create heirarchy in the text, I used paragraph styles for my header and subheaders.  I also used guides to ensure that my brochure could fold in the correct places and for placement of all elements.  I used Illustrator to create my logo. In Photoshop I used the magnetic lasso tool to capture the image of the bike and rider that I wanted to use for a text wrap.  I then took the selection, refined the edge and applied a filter that gave a rough edge.  I then printed using my color printer and used a metal ruler, and X-acto knife to cut off to the bleed edge.
  3. Message: The message of this brochure was partly educational – it gave the benefits of mountain biking, and partially advertisement – it advertised Mountain Top Bicycles and services.
  4. Audience: Bicycling enthusiasts and those interested in mountain biking.
  5. Top Thing Learned: I learned how to use text wrap in InDesign.
  6. Color scheme and color names: Monocromatic Orange
  7. Title Font Name & Category: Palatino Linotype – Serif font
  8. Copy Font Name & Category: Trebuchet MS – Sans Serif
  9. Word Count of copy: 256
  10. Thumbnails of Images used: 


    action bike






    mountainbike11 (1)


  11. Sources (Links to images on original websites)






Project 6 Stationery

business card

business card



Enlarged business card

Enlarged business card

  1. Description:  Design a personal or business stationery system
  2. Process (Programs, Tools, Skills): I used Adobe Illustrator to design my graphic elements using the pen and shapes tools.  I decided after I created the cupcakes (one for each sister) that I really liked the cherry.  The cherry then became my point of interest and I tried to include it in each of my designs.  I did have to modify it a bit on the letter head.  When I left it as just a circle, it looked like a bomb!   I then pulled the graphic elements into InDesign and added the text and lines.  I learned that in InDesign you can convert points so that you can get a rounded line.  I found InDesign a bit hard to work with until I figured out that the images that you place have two different bounding boxes.  Throughout the process I constantly kept the FOCUS principles in mind and tried to incorporate elements of contrast (the red cherry), alignment(of text and graphic elements), and hierarchy(grouping similar elements) to improve my design.
  3. Message: The message the I was trying to convey was to advertise for  a yummy and fun bakery.
  4. Audience: Any one who is interested in baked goods.
  5. Top Thing Learned: I learned to use InDesign to layout my design incorporating graphic and text elements.
  6. Color scheme and color names: triadic blue, gold, and red
  7. Title Font Name & Category: Lucinda Handwriting – decorative
  8. Copy Font Name & Category: Legacy – sans-serif

Project 4 Montage

Montage Final

Montage Final

  1. Description:  Project to showcase masking abilities by making a montage of two or more pictures.
  2. Process (Programs, Tools, Skills, Steps taken while designing):  I first decided on a quote that I thought was special.  I then began to think about what types of pictures I might find that related to that quote.  I searched on Google for rain clouds, people in the rain, and umbrellas using the search filters that I learned in class.  Once I had some pictures to look at I decided on my color scheme and message and that narrowed down the photos considerably.  My challenges for this assignment was the large quote that I had chosen and the difference between what I saw on the screen and what actually printed out.  I found that the colors were quite washed out when I printed for the first time.  As for the quote, I was able to consolidate it a bit and I found that by asking myself what I really wanted a person to see when scanning it I was able to determine hierarchy.
  3. Message:  The message of this piece is the quote.  Basically, if you want the blessings that Heavenly Father is always giving, you must be able to receive them by obeying the commandments.
  4. Audience: All people who want to know how to receive blessings.
  5. Top Thing Learned: How to use masks without fear.  How to copy a layer.
  6. Filter / Colorization used and where it was applied: A filter was applied to the umbrella to add a texture to it.  Without the texture the umbrella, which is a picture of an actual umbrella, looked fake or cartoonish.
  7. Color scheme and color names: Complementary Teal and Brick
  8. Title Font Name & Category: Adobe Garamond Pro Bold, Serif
  9. Copy Font Name & Category: Franklin Gothic Book, Sans Serif
  10. Thumbnails of Images used:

maninrain         raincloud       black-umbrella

11.  Sources (Links to images on original websites / with title of site):

Main in rain

Rain Clouds


Project 3 Photodesign


  1. Description: A project that showcases photography and design talents.
  2. Process (Programs, Tools, Skills): I first decided on an analogous color scheme featuring green, lime, and yellow.  I want something natural and positive to showcase and I felt this color scheme gave that impression.  After I obtained my photograph, I put it into Photoshop and used the Levels, Vibrance/Saturation, Selective Color, and Sharpen Tools.  I really had a challenge with using the sharpen tool.  I kept overdoing the middle of the flower.  I am so glad that I used different layers!  I then looked at the size of the picture and decided to add repeating boxes around the photo.  I then looked at the focal point and flow and decided to align my quote with the edge of the flowers where my eye was lead after the focal point.  I used the color wheel that was provided to find colors that matched the colors in my photo.  I have learned a lot about photography and Photoshop with this assignment!
  3. Message: I worked to create a natural and positive poster that would catch the eye and send a encouraging thought.
  4. Audience: Anyone interested in nature and beauty
  5. Top Thing Learned: How to use Photoshop to improve my photographs.
  6. Color scheme and color names: Analogous – Green, Lime, and Yellow
  7. Title Font Name & Category: Trade Gothic – Sans Grotesque
  8. Copy Font Name & Category: Times New Roman – Serif
  9. Thumbnail of original, unedited image inserted


  1. Date and location you took the photo(s) Oct 15th 2014 local park Cleburne, TX

P3 Photodesign Activity

The sky through the branches of a pecan tree.

Light Outside

Light Inside

Light Inside

Focus Forground

Focus: Foreground

Focus Background

Focus: Background


Composition: Strong Leading Lines

Composition: Lead Room

Composition: Lead Room

This was a very interesting exercise.  I learned some new things that I could do with my camera -especially about the macro mode.  The first picture looked pretty good on the camera,  but when I got it into Photoshop I realized that, although I had metered it for the light, the blue in the sky had become more white than I liked.  I was able to fix that with the Selective Color tool.  I choose the color white and then bumped up the cyan about 10 to give the sky a bit more blue.  The next photo I took inside next to a lamp.  I found that adjusting my levels, especially the black, gave me detail and color that would have been lost.  I also found the sharpen tool was useful for the small details and the word that was partially cast in shadow.  I think I learned the most in the next two photos when I was focusing on the foreground and background.  It took me a long time to figure out how to focus properly with the macro setting on my camera.  The sharpen tool was useful to bring out details on the focal point of the picture.

The picture with the strong leading lines was fairly easy to compose.  I put the stone pagoda on the vertical thirds and the bonsai runs close to the other thirds with it’s top close to the horizontal third.  The last picture of my cat has her on the thirds facing into the frame for lead room.  I would have liked to frame her eye on the third but her ear was more prominent with the light shining on it.