The Life of a Graphic Designer; or a font nerd. Or just a quick ramble.

Right now I’m working on a logo design for a client-thanks Katlin! However it doesn’t matter the project, the best (and worse) part is picking the font. There are just so many choices! Inevitably you think you have found the ‘perfect’ one and then you scroll through and find that the fi ligature is atrocious (or some tosh like that). However the bit about the logo design (especially if it’s a type based logo) is you really have to look at the letter relationships closely. Does the tail on the R have too much personality, curling too little or not enough? Do the bowls and counters distract from the word? Is the weight of the fonts equal (if combining more than one)? Are they too heavy to properly portray this company? Yes, too many thoughts to put into words at present, but it’s never as easy as ‘slapping on some words’.

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Big doings in my online abscense

If you follow my blog you will realize that in the last couple of months there hasn’t been anything to follow. This is because I’ve been busy in the doings of the world around me.

See that person to the far left in front (shorts and stripes)? That's me, being a little joiner.

See that person to the far left in front (shorts and stripes)? That’s me, being a little joiner.

In March I auditioned for a community theater production and that has eaten much of my free time. On top of that I decided it’d be a brilliant idea to buy a house. A week later I gave my landlord notice, two weeks later I’m out of my apartment (and back with my parents who very kindly agreed to give me refuge) and two days later I’ve bought a house. Apparently once I’ve truly put my mind to something there isn’t much that will hold me back. This can be seen as both positive and negative, I am sure.

So here I am on June 4, 2013. Tomorrow is the opening day of the musical Joseph and The Technicolor Dreamcoat (I play Dan’s wife) and in ten days I take possession of a house. I am both exhilarated and terrified. I mean this is a house. I will own something of real value and if I mess it up it will be a HUGE deal. It’s not like my apartment where if something went wrong I could call the landlord. If something goes wrong I might be able to call my parents, otherwise I really will just have to figure it out myself.

My future house!!

The realtor’s photo of my future home.

Bear with me over the next month (or two or three) because there will be many posts about the house; that is if I can maintain any sort of regular posting schedule. The basement is completely unfinished and my parents have agreed to help me finish it off pretty much as soon as I get the keys and can go in the house. So it will be lots of DIY and decorating, which falls under the purview of projects and such that I post about. I’m lucky I’ve been swamped with rehearsals over the last month or I might have gone completely mad with waiting. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’ve driven by, pulled up the drive way and even sat on the porch. This sounds creepier than it is because it’s actually vacant. So it’s not like anyone is living there to see me stalk my future residence….except my future neighbors.

Also, the town’s festival (Scandinavian Days) is this weekend (which is what the musical is for). Again I will be participating in the parade; in two floats if I can finagle it. Further updates about the festival, musical, and of course life in general to come.

S’more Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

As is quickly becoming my norm, here is yet another kitchen adventure. Just once I’d like to make something and have nothing go wrong. Alas pipe dreams never come to fruition.

Well, actually that’s not entirely true. Before the near disaster that was the S’more Sensation, I did manage to successfully make Trix Krispies. They are a much more colorful version of Rice Krispies where you use Trix (in case the title didn’t give it away) instead of Rice Krispies. I think Fruity Pebbles may work well too. Perhaps even better because Trix are rather giant in comparison. Oh, I did have issues with nearly burning the butter, but I just threw in the marshmallows to nip that in the bud (so not incident free as I had thought). I love Trix and am happy to have a fun alternative to the standard Krispies. Sometime I’d like to try the ‘fruity’  marshmallows instead. However I think if I tried that in conjunction with Fruity Pebbles/Trix the universe would implode.

Onto the mishap. Everything with the S’more Cookies was going so well. I realized that I really needed to invest in a giant mixing bowl, but with some patience and careful stirring that minor notion was easily overcome. Then came the massive cookies. Again, although they caught me off guard, that too was fine. The oven was all preheated and I stuck the cookies into the oven to bake. Setting the timer for half the time so I could swap the layers mid-cooking. *Note: these did not fit on one tray, two should do. I used three but that’s because the second and third trays I used were a 8×8 square pan and a loaf pan. Pure laziness prevented me from digging out a second cookie tray (too many other dishes balanced on top of it).

Imagine my surprise when seven-ish minutes later I open the oven and smoke/steam comes streaking out. Just super. Further bewildering was I could find no source. The cookies weren’t burnt at all and the wax paper was fully intact. No singeing at all. I quickly flipped on the vent fan, swapped the trays and shut the door. A few minutes into the second baking stage I flipped the oven light and could see some smoke/steam building up. I cracked the oven door hoping that it would all escape into the vent. I’m pretty sure that fan (which is run through my microwave that is above the stove/oven) is purely a loud placebo. After fretting about letting the smoke/steam out I turned around to witness the haze forming in the rest of the apartment.

I don’t wish to make it sound like it was billowing in my apartment, because it wasn’t. But it definitely as clear as a bell like it usually is. Panicked I turned on the overhead fans, shut the doors I could (to prevent the smoke from simply wafting through. If it was going to invade the other rooms it would have to drop down to the floor and go under by golly!) opened the front door and threw opened the windows (for the cross breeze of course). Yup, middle of winter and I was chilling in my apartment, literally. I fully admit I over reacted but I have this inane fear of bothering my neighbors and I really didn’t want to be the reason the fire alarms went off. More importantly I thought the sprinklers would go off for some reason if I didn’t nip the haze in the bud. Illogical thoughts? Absolutely. Am I aware of this? Obviously. Do I let it effect my behavior (so I’m a bit crazy)? Yes.

Finally the haze cleared and the end result was awesome. Just so yummy. Gooey marshmallow, scrumptious chocolate AND the graham cracker added it’s only unique texture to the mix. I highly recommend them, if you have other people around to share in the eating. Otherwise you’ll be in danger of a sugar overdose. That’s it. My latest ‘calamity’ in the kitchen. The building, my mental state and diet (so far) survived, so in the end a win.

Beware, these cookies are fantastic (especially shortly after they have been made) and you should know they are terrible for you. Each cookie is over 500 calories (according to the myfitnesspal app). These suckers are so massive though you can easily just have half, which is still over 250 calories. I think if I make them again I’ll cut them down so there are 24 cookies instead of 12.S'More Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) softened butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 24 graham cracker quarters or 12 full sheets separated at perforations
  • 3 Hershey Bars, broken into rows of 3 bars
  • 12 large marshmallows cut in half

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
  • In a stand or electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until well combined.
  • Place flour, salt and baking soda into a bowl; mix to combine then add slowly to wet ingredients along with the chocolate chips.
  • Layer a graham cracker quarter with 3 Hershey chocolate squares and 2 marshmallow halves. Close with another graham cracker.
  • Top s’more with a large scoop of cookie dough. Place in hands and place another large scoop on bottom then front and back sides as needed. Form dough around s’mores. (It is much easier than it sounds, just make sure your dough is around room temperature, and make one big disc shape. Pinch off excess dough if you have too much.)
  • *Note: When your cookies go into the oven, they should look like HUGE, lumpy cookie dough balls on the tray. The s’more should be completely encased with dough!
  • Place giant cookies onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes or until edges are golden and centers are cooked through.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack or serving plate.

Trix Krispies*Bonus Recipe: Trix Krispies*

Ingredients

  • 1 large bag of mini marshmallows (458 g or something like that)
  • 10 cups Trix cereal (I used one box, which according to the nutritional label, had approx. 9 cups)
  • 1/4 cup butter

Directions

  • Place the butter and marshmallows in a large sauce pan and heat until all melted and combined. (I found stirring fairly constantly helped everything not burn.)
  • Mix in Trix and stir.
  • Pour into a large greased pan (I used 9×13) and press down with a spoon.
  • Cut into squares (I did 30)

That’s Taboo…[Daily Prompt]

“It’s never a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t really know.” Agree or disagree?

Religion and politics. Two of the touchiest subjects arguably in human history. How many wars have been fought over one of the two subjects (do we recall the crusades?). Yet that doesn’t stop some from spouting their opinions to others. I pretty much always hate it when people bring up politics. More often then not they are just complaining about the current state of affairs, but I’m fully cognizant of the fact that will stay sitting in their chairs at home complaining rather than do anything to try to change it. And why waste the effort? We’ve had decades of anecdotal evidence that people who want to change things often can’t because of procedure/protocol.

That being said it doesn’t make it and less awkward when I am able to deduce your political affiliation before you can leave the store. Time and time again people leave and I need to take a deep breath to dislodge myself from the weight that has been forced onto my shoulders, and is it necessary? All I said was something about the rain being good for crops. How does that garner a diatribe about the national deficit?

In case it isn’t clear then, I agree that discussing politics/religion with people you don’t know isn’t a brilliant idea. It’s better to feel the person out a bit better. If you’re trying to convince them that you’re opinion is right it’s better to know how to phrase things to a certain person, which you can’t know until you’ve gotten to know someone a bit better. Heck, I don’t even share my opinion on where to eat with my family, why would I share something so personal, like my religion, with a total stranger?

Movie Double Feature (only not really) Scream 2 & The Nightmare Before Christmas

Continuing my movie marathon I had planned on watching Scream 2 and Nightmare Before Christmas. Since, as I’ve stated before, we have down town trick-or-treating that I’m co-in charge of I had to take sometime last night to fill luminaries with sand. I only was able to watch Scream 2 (luckily filling bags after the movie fulfilled my rule of having to do something to unwind after a scary movie)

The thing about scream 2 is that somethings feel very forced, like the Dewey-Gale love line. Is it necessary? Not really. Can’t he just be mad at her, do they have to have this reconnecting moment? Or can’t the reconnecting moment be that she really isn’t as terrible as she portrays 85% of the time? Sidney is fairly inconsistent, very hot and cold. However, surviving as many traumas as she has I can see how that would happen, but still. You shouldn’t rely on audiences giving her that break. All in all though I still jumped and cringed so they did there job, right?

Until tomorrow ~ Q

During Movie Thoughts:

  • Really, you’re commenting about how her wardrobe choice moves the plot of the story along. It’s a HORROR movie, there isn’t an earth shattering plot. Stupid comment dumb character who will be dead in 5 minutes.
  • And boyfriend of the year award goes to….you Mr. Jump out of the closet
  • Never listen to other bathroom stalls, lesson learned
  • time to change numbers again, that would not be cool
  • ‘a vague promise at best’…I’ll have to use that
  • Is Sidney destined to always hit Gale upon their first meeting?
  • Is having the girl who is the vampire slayer watching Nosferatu an example of directorial intent?
  • Memo to self, throw bike at attacker. Seriously bikes are awkward when you’re on one, how much harder to maneuver when one is thrown at you.
  • Yes, we’ve all been underage drinking, lets rush to where there are cops!
  • Why would you answer a phone at a random sorority? Bad call
  • Yes make your distraught girlfriend the center of attention by singing her a love song in the cafeteria. Nice gesture and all but a better one would be something private, no?
  • Didn’t Sidney crack a shot about ‘with her luck Tori Spelling would play her’ in Scream 1. Hey Luke Wilson!
  • Dewy and Randy are 5 – ‘if I’m a suspect so are you’
  • “The battle for the soul is fought in the forum of art” – I do like that
  • Here Sidney, let me protect you by moving you by an exit and leaving you
  • Greek Tragedy, nice symbolism
  • Can you look any more guilty Cotton
  • WHY THE FORCED LOVE STORY?!?
  • Nice theme music for Dewey
  • “Ask Cotton, he’s the real hero.” Gag me.
  • Sidney flip flops her opinions on people every two seconds…Gale (she saved our lives….smack!), Boyfriend (we should stay apart… i love you… leave me alone) Cotton – you see where this is going

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Ah fall, the time of the year that my skin goes all komodo dragon on me, my hair can summon socks there is so much static, and I leave for the day in a sweater and wish for a tank by the afternoon. Yes, fall is here. Joking aside fall may just be my favorite time of year. I’m a sweatshirt and jeans girl and fall is the best time for those. If you wear them in summer you will definitely get looked at funny and it’s annoying wearing full on sweatshirts in winter because they are quite bulky or grabby when layering with a winter coat. No no, fall is the time for me. Despite all the shortcomings (read the first sentence again if you’ve forgotten) they can be easily overcome: lotion, hairspray, layers. Why do I love fall so much? Everything starts back up.

The performing arts series have started back up, town activities are in full swing. I’ve already written about the Story festival, now tonight there are business tours, this weekened there is a halloween party, and then I’m in charge of trick-or-treating downtown. I’m really excited for that event, it’s the first time we’ve done it in town and so far it sounds like it will be a hit. Especially because even if the weather is bad it’s the most sensical place for people to still go. A lot of the businesses are participating so even if its really cold you can go to a lot of different places in a short amount of space. Lot’s of bang for your buck, in the kids’ eyes (and it’s free to boot). Things just happen in fall. Perhaps it’s the knowledge that after vacationing all summer one only has about two months (or so) before the ground is overcome with snow that urges things to be crammed in to the best season.

There is also the crispness in the air, the crunching of leaves underfoot and all the homey food. Fall is the best food season, with the finally (Thanksgiving) at the end. Think about it, there are apple pies, apple cider, squash, pumpkin pie and more. Its the harvest season so everything is fresh. Also the color palette isn’t to shabby. The greens fade to yellow, orange and red while still being set off by a brilliant blue sky. I was taking a drive last week and looked out at the golden fields against the blue sky and green trees and the phrase ‘Is this heaven? No it’s Iowa’ popped into my head and it’s so true. So get out and enjoy the season, it’s halfway gone already and winter is coming.

Ciao ~ Q

A ramble brought to you by a sleepless night. You’ve been warned.

Usually I take Thursday afternoons off at work if I can. Yesterday I didn’t, which was no big deal, especially since my manager was feeling under the weather. So I got off work around 6 and quickly went home to change for volleyball practice. Oh, I think I’ve mentioned I’m playing league volleyball this fall. If I haven’t I am, and I’m terrible. Perhaps my saving grace is that I’m a willing student. Unfortunately that puts the role of coach/teacher onto some of my more knowledgeable teammates.

Anyway, my team was meeting in my town at the rec center for practice. I figured I should try to get there early. Not early enough though, I was 15 minutes early and one of them was already there. Anyway, practice was a blast. There ended up being 5 of us in all and when two of them had to leave two other people at open gym jumped in. We practiced for about  2 1/4 hours before deciding to call it a night. When I got home I noticed the light was on at work and went in to see what was up. My manager was there catching up on stuff since she had left early. We chit chatted for a short while before I finally headed home.

By this time it was around nine. I was exhausted. I just wanted to decompress and chill. I wasn’t really hungry but forced down an apple since I had completely skipped supper. After a quick shower I watched an episode of The League which I’m usually so amused by, but I was just so tired I decided to call it a night. Unfortunately I saw a book I’d gotten last week sitting on the counter.

I’ve been waiting for this book for months. I haven’t even finished it and I’m already cursing that the next one isn’t out until next year. I guess a year isn’t too bad of a wait considering other series books may be fewer and further in between. You ruin my life a little Riordan.

I was specifically put off starting it until I’d have long uninterrupted hours of time (such as this weekend) because I knew once I started it I would try to finish it. Even as I was telling myself ‘just one chapter’ I altered it to ‘just the first viewpoint’. This book switches which character is telling the story every few chapters. I couldn’t even do that, I read all of the first viewpoint and the first chapter of the second before yelling at myself to go to sleep.

So you’d think after hours of physical exertion and an hour of reading I’d be out in two seconds. Well you’d be wrong. Apparently my subconscious decided to start putting out “you’ve caught the bug from your manager” symptoms.

A fun fact about my nausea, I can usually tell it’s coming because my mouth starts to salivate with no food stimulus. So there I was, tossing and turning trying to convince myself I wasn’t going to be sick. I even told myself throwing water up is that absolute worse. It worked, besides the fact that it kept me up and when I did manage to sleep I was easily awoken. After the third random wake up I was convinced that the Greeks or Romans were the cause of my restlessness. Perhaps Hermes was up to his trickster ways and whispering in the dark. Seem random? It is, but The Heroes of Olympus series is all about the Greek and Roman demigods, so not so bad. Still ridiculous but that is what my sleep deprived mind went to.

Anyway, that’s my tale of my sleepless night. I usually don’t mind sleepless nights, I just don’t 100% appreciate them in the middle of the week. Since today is Friday, however, I’ll survive. Anyway, until next time ~ Q

What’s The League? Here’s a promo clip from Canada.

If you’ve ever seen the show you’ll know about Taco. I feel if I were in a league that’s who I’d be, sort of. Kind of random, kind of clueless, but minus all the drugs.