Keeping Busy with Design

Earlier this year I mentioned that I began taking courses on Udemy and how much I was enjoying the process. That’s still the case! I have finished the Photoshop Essentials and Advanced courses, and moved on to both the Illustrator and InDesign Essentials courses by Daniel Scott.

And for being a person who was using InDesign and Illustrator CS6 on a daily basis for work last year, I’m surprised at how much I have learned about both programs in just the Essentials courses alone. I didn’t consider myself an expert, but felt comfortable in InDesign especially. And while I was competent in the program, I had (and have) so much more to learn not only about working more efficiently but also the real capabilities of the program itself.

And we haven’t even touched on the interactivity in PDFs yet.

Projects

My goal of late has been to create more recent graphic design work for my portfolios since much of what I have done in the past has been proprietary. It is fine if I am pitching to those who have seen my work but, alas, most have not.

Taking the courses on Udemy has been really good for building the portfolio, and it’s part of the reason I chose to check out Daniel Scott’s courses: he lists that there are many real-world projects for just that purpose.

And that’s just what I need.

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Now with Ko-fi

My Ko-fi page is now live!

Ko-fi is a platform that allows creators, like me, to be easily supported by fans of their work. Supporters can give a “ko-fi”, which is similar to the price of a coffee, to show someone that they value their work and would like to offer support. It’s pretty great!

If you enjoy my work and would like to help me make more, please consider supporting me on Ko-fi!

As a thank you from me, all supporters are given access to a wallpaper package, containing a variety of sunset photos from my collection of work.

Check out the page to learn more. 😊

Thanks! ❤

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

September Adventures: Sugar Pine Reservoir Part 2

Last week I shared Part 1 of my adventures in Sugar Pine Reservoir, where I visited the area in late September with my husband and mother-in-law. It’s a gorgeous area to spend the day wandering around and soaking in the beauty of nature.

I had heard stories from my husband and his family about how beautiful and peaceful the area was, but had yet the chance in any of my travels to visit the space.

This all changed last month. And I think it’s safe to say it’s now one of my favourite places in California. I want to back!

Let’s get to the photographs, shall we?

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September Adventures: Sugar Pine Reservoir Part 1

In late September, my husband, mother-in-law and I traveled to Sugar Pine Reservoir, located in Northern California, to spend the day wandering around. I had heard stories from my husband and his family about how beautiful and peaceful the area was, but had not yet had the chance to visit.

This was all about to change.

In preparation, I purchased a new SD Card for my camera, a nearly-ten-year-old Canon EOS REBEL T3. In previous years, I have shied away from shooting photographs in RAW. My excuse was that SD Cards were expensive and I would rather take more photos and experiment, rather than have to stop early and miss something because I didn’t have card space.

These days, SD Cards don’t really cost all that much and I have no excuse not to ensure I have ample room for the photos I need to take. I never had any excuse, to be honest.

And after editing RAW photos in Adobe Lightroom Classic recently, I don’t think I will ever go back to using only Adobe Photoshop. For photo editing, if I don’t need to edit people out of them or work on a design, I can see myself using Lightroom for most retouching instead. It’s amazing for organization and batch editing. I love it!

Let’s get to the photographs, shall we?

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Editing Landscape Photography

This post is based on a similar post I created for Tali Gibson Designs LLC‘s company Portfolio. It was a post that turned out far more detailed than originally intended, and I can see it being relevant here as well. It gives a fair amount of insight into how I photograph and edit photos, as well as what programs I use to do my work.


There are different ways to edit a photo based on how the photo was taken and the intention behind the editing. In the case of landscape photography, there is more leeway in how far to push an image, compared to the subtlety required for portrait retouching.

Photograph taken in September 2019 at Sugar Pine Reservoir in California.

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Learning and Designing and Editing And…

The last two months have been busy for me, so there has not been much in the way of content going up here. It’s the kind of busy-ness that’s productive, but doesn’t offer much to show for it in the short-term.

For those who keep up with my devientART Gallery, you will have seen a few designs popping up in the last month or so. That’s a small portion of what has been going on around here. I have much to show you!

Website: Tali Gibson Designs LLC

In July, my husband started up a business, Tali Gibson Designs LLC. Since then, we have been working on creating content for the website to showcase examples of the services we offer through the company. Being a new and small company, I’m both Graphic Designer, Website Administrator, Social Network Admin, and Whatever-Else-We-Happen-To-Need.

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Review; Crescent Calling

Crescent Calling (The Crescent Witch Chronicles #1)
by Nicole R. Taylor

My Rating: 2 of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:

Skye Williams is an ordinary woman, living an ordinary life.

Or so she thought.

When she receives news of her estranged mother’s death, she must go to Ireland to claim her inheritance, but when she arrives in the tiny village of Derrydun, she isn’t prepared for what she finds nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Emerald Isle. 

Lumped with a funeral, her mother’s crystal shop, a moody goth girl for an employee, and a crumbling cottage with horrible floral curtains, selling up and getting out sounds like a great plan, but everything and everyone seems determined to keep her from going home.

Skye doesn’t want any part of her mother’s life or the people of Derrydun until she sees the hot Irishman she’s been crushing on turn into a fox.

More absurdly, he tells her her dead mother was a witch who battled evil fairies, there’s magical trees growing in the centre of the village, there’s a parallel universe where the fair folk live, and she’s meant to be the last defense of the magical peoples of Ireland.

Turns out Skye Williams was never an ordinary woman. Not by a long shot.
She’s the last Crescent Witch and has a destiny to fulfil.

Whether she likes it or not.


Witches in Ireland?

I picked up this book as the premise looked interesting, and a story taking place in Ireland would take a change from the usual urban fantasies I read.

Not reading any of the author’s work prior to this, I didn’t have any expectations going in. It was a quick and easy read, but felt underwhelming and I wanted more.

Impressions

The two characters, Skye and Boone, had a few small conflicts but it didn’t feel to hold much weight. Skye came across younger than her age, acting more like an immature teenager rather than the adult she was supposed to be. (Running away from Boone to not let him explain something, cutting people off and refusing to hear a perfectly reasonable explanation that would release tension, etc.) I wish the tension around the conflicts was written in a different way, too, rather than to simply draw it out with delays. In doing this, Skye’s immaturity was emphasized and it was difficult to relate to her because of it.

Be aware of Spoilers below.

The main conflict arcs were… unearned. It felt too easy. An enemy is alerted to Skye’s presence because she was negligent, she figures out she needs a weapon, she uses her new powers (that she doesn’t know how to use and has had no training to use) to find just the weapon she needs, and somehow knows where to go to imbue that weapon. And then defeats the enemy with said weapon. Easy. Fast.

Everything happened in a flurry and there was no real “work” done by the main character. She just… figured it out because she’s a “badass witch” and she could?

The worldbuilding did not pull me in, either. Aside from a few things like names, sayings, and possibly lore, this story could really have taken place anywhere.

And unfortunately, I didn’t care about Skye. Or Boone. If there was a reason to, I missed it completely. Their romance felt forced and I wasn’t at all interested in reading about them being together. But I think that’s related to the issue of my not being able to really care about the two of them.

Overall

This story is likely directed toward much younger readers. They may be able to relate to the characters better. For me, Skye just made too many bad and immature decisions unlike someone her age. (If I recall correctly, mid twenties?)

This is one of the times I wish there was more of a distinction between the types of Young Adult novels out there. It’s a difference in audience, and this book is just intended for a younger one.

I will not be picking up the in the series.

Promotion: Living Room Decor Sale!

It’s getting to be the time when students are heading back to school, and that means it’s time to consider refreshing the living space. Whether that room is a bedroom, office space, or shared space in a dorm, it matters not. It’s the season for change.

I think we’re all tired of all of this oppressive heat (unless it’s winter where you are, of course) and are thinking that it’s about time for something… cool. 😎

The Living Room Decor Sale is today only in my Society6 Shop! Please take a look at the details below and please let me know if you have any questions. 😀


Up to 30% Off Living Room Decor

Start: Wednesday, 7/31/19 at 12:00AM PT
End: Wednesday, 7/31/19 at 11:59PM PT

Details:
➡ 30% off tapestries, throw pillows, rectangular pillows, floor pillows, throw blankets, blackout curtains, sheer curtains, wall clocks, wallpaper, wall murals and rugs;
➡ 25% off art prints, framed prints, wall hangings, posters, canvas prints, mini framed prints, mini art prints, metal prints and wood wall art, and…
➡ 20% off credenzas, benches, bar stools, counter stools, side tables and coffee tables.

Featured Products

“Marker Scratch” Wall Clock

From the product page:
Good times! Rethink the traditional timepiece as functional wall decor. You’ll love how our Artists are converting some of their coolest designs specifically into Wall Clocks. Constructed with premium, shatter-resistant materials, with three frame color options.

“Birds and Stars” Rectangular Pillow

From the product page:
Rectangular Pillows are basically oversized Throw Pillows that provide a different look – suitable for the bed or couch. They’re comfy enough to sleep on, and a great canvas for art.

“Painted Sunset” Rug

From the product page:
Allowing you to express your style all over your home with a feature-worthy rug. They’re made from a woven, polyester chenille for a soft and textured look. Plus, choosing from our wide array of designs, you’re sure to find just the rug to match your decor.

Other Products


If there are any photographs or designs of mine you would like to see that are not in the shop, or are not on the items you’re looking for, let me know and I’ll do my best to make those available to you as soon as possible.

Thanks! ❤

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com