June 26, 2013

Favorite Summer Foods: No Bake Cookies

Summer is here. Summer has certain feelings, smells, and sounds, and they all echo the lovelyness of summer. It's like putting on a record; time slows down just a little and sounds are sweeter. There is just something about Summer. And let's not forget about all the scrumptious summer food. One of the things you should know about me is that I love food and I love to eat.

With Summer here I wanted to share some of my favorite Summer foods. I'm not a fancy chef of any kind, I gravitate towards recipes that are simple, but I say if it taste good it's worth sharing.
No Bake Cookies - adapted from Here

3/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon 
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1/4 stick of butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups quick oatmeal

In a sauce pan melt butter then mix Sugar, Brown Sugar, Cocoa, Milk, and Cinnamon. Heat to boiling on medium heat, then remove from heat and let it cool for 1 minute. Next, add vanilla extract, peanut butter, and oatmeal. Mix well and drop on to wax paper to cool.
Enjoy! What are your favorite summer foods?

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June 21, 2013

Sitting Down with a Creative: A Freelance Artist

Today we are sitting down with Sunha. Sunha is the wife of Andres and she is a freelance Artist. A lot of her work is animation related and she is currently working for scientists who teach creation science.
Q: What is the organization called that you currently work for?
A: ACT Association of Creation Truths, it’s more for Korean people.

Q: What does a typical day for you look like?
A: I wake up and drink coffee. Andres and I eat breakfast together, he goes to work and then I read my Bible and Potato comes to his play house. I’ll do work until noon and I’ll take care of Potato. In the afternoon, I work and do house work. The morning is more work and the afternoon is mixed.
*(Potato is Sunha's sister's dog.)
Q: What is one of you favorite projects you’ve worked on so far?
A: I like the one I’m working on right now. I’m working on animation to teach creation science. I also like the painting that Andres and I did together.
Q: Why was it your favorite?
A: The one that I am working on right now is cool, because I get to do everything. I get to choose the style, which is really fun. Usually clients want a specific style, but this one is open, so I’m able to bring my own style to this project. My passion as been for creation science also, so it’s perfect.

I love the painting because my sister commissioned us to do it. She requested it right after we graduated because we needed work. The process was fun, because we got to hang out outside in the yard. And I really like how it turned out.
Q: Where did you attend school?
A: Cal Arts (California Institute of the Arts) for animation and before I went to a university in Korea for Biology.

Q: What is your experience in traditional art?
A: I did a lot of painting since I was little, mostly for fun. I love painting. I used to do a lot of water color and oil painting. It wasn’t professional; it was just something I always did for fun.

Q: What is the most important part of creating for you?
A: I love the feeling of thick paint and the texture. I feel free and confident because you can mess up, but then do it over and keep going. You can make a mistake but its okay because you can go over it. It’s like a happy accident. I love the feeling of freedom when painting. Water color is different because you have to plan and be accurate. So I get a little more nervous. I always I like painting more than sketching, because with sketching you have to know more about what you are doing but with painting there is more freedom.
Q: Who or what has been the biggest influence in your artistry?
A: Influence from others around me doing art. In a lot of cases my sister. I kind of follow her steps in a way. I always love the transitionalist artist paintings. Whenever I go to museums I get excited to see it all. For what I do right now, I get influenced by graphic art; it’s not something that I learned from school, so there are lots of things for me to learn.

Q: What inspires you creatively, and how does that inspire you to decorate and design your home?
A: Sometimes I look at blogs; there are lots of home and decoration inspiration. Seeing what other people have done in their home inspires me to do it in my home. This is my house for the first time, before I was a student sharing my space, and this is our first house after getting married.
Q: When making things for your home how does the creative process start?
A: It’s very random, I don’t plan. It’s always, “I want this, but I don’t know how it will turn out.” So I always play around. For me the creative process is usually a happy accident. It's about starting something and seeing how it will turn out. I think that is why I can’t be a story board artist. Andres’ process is more structured. My process is more free.

Q: What is your favorite piece of art in your home?
A: I love Andres’ cousin Johnny’s paintings. Those are my favorite.

Q: What is your favorite piece that you created?
A: I love the water color painting I did of Potato.
 Thank you so much, Sunha, for sharing with us!

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June 19, 2013

Hiking the Verdugo Mountains

Every Saturday Husband and I go hiking, unless we are away. We get up early so we can try to be hiking by 8:30am. I say try, because sometimes we're late. When we first started hiking it was SO hard, no joke. We would hike up the mountain and I would constantly go "ugh," over and over again. We started hiking at the end of last summer or maybe it was the beginning of fall with our friends Sunha and Andres.
Over time after many Saturdays of hiking and doing P90X (working out solid for the past three weeks! whoop!) I no longer hike the mountain going "ugh." Husband and I have become so accustomed to hiking that when we don't I always say we get grumpy.
Recently, two of our other friends, Dennis and Serena, have been joining us on our hike also.
I'm reminded that we live in a desert region whenever we hike because everything begins to get brown and dusty.
Here is Husband... crawling... umm... Here is Husband being fantastic!
That trail is where we come down the mountain.
This section that we are about to go up is the hardest part for me. It is the longest stretch of incline that we go up.
This is a view of Burbank from the mountain.
This is a view of Glendale from the mountain.  On super clear mornings you can see the ocean. It's pretty stickin' fantastic.
Beginning the trek down.
Now, come hiking with us! :)

{P.S. That is usually how I look all week. Husband and I work-out in the evening so in the morning I just throw on work-out cloths. Classy, right?}

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June 14, 2013

Friday Favorite: Husband & "Man of Steel"

It's been quite a while since I have done a Friday Favorite. I was just thinking about it the other day. I really enjoy Friday Favorites, because it makes me look back on my week and find goodness and joy in lots of things that I may have not otherwise thought of.

Today, while doing chores around the house I kept saying to myself, "Fun Day Friday!" Friday is one day that I allow myself to sleep in a little. Saturday's we're up early hiking and Sunday's we are up early for church. Friday, what a lovely day. Friday is also a day that I allow myself more wiggle room in my work schedule; I block out time for chores and laundry, things I have pushed off until the end of the week, and even though I'm doing chores I find it refreshing. It's as though I'm getting the house ready for a weekend of fun!

Today was especially delightful, because Husband is a big fan of Superman, and since "Man of Steel," opens today we did some fun fan photos.
Early this week Husband even brought home some vinyle. Hot dang, we love us some vinyle!
Also, I'm super excited about this.. Husband did some fan art! Whoop! I just love it!
And, on top of all the Superman fun, it is my very good friend, Caitlin's birthday!
What a lovey Friday is has been! What have been some of your favorite things about this week?

June 11, 2013

Taking Time to Unplug

Husband and I are frequent Fresno visitors. We have family there so we make it a point to visit about every other month. Our family there is the closest family we have outside of Joplin. When visiting Fresno it is a perfect opportunity for us to unplug from work and creative projects we have at home. There are times that I want to check emails and business related items, but I'm learning and doing my best to leave those things at home.

Husband is teaching me and helping me to understand that when a majority of my time is spent in creative mode, that taking time to unplug will make the purposeful creative moments better. I'm also learning that the things that I enjoy in my everyday life are the things that inspire and shape my creativity.

This weekend while Husband and I were in Fresno we headed to a "swap meet." This was my first time at anything called a "swap meet." I guess I would compare it to a flea market, but this particular "swap meet," only occurs the second Saturday of each month.

I was a little overwhelmed at first with so many great items and thoughts about what I wanted and how to haggle (Husband usually does the haggling.) However in the end, we came away with some really great finds.
 I really love these wooden crates, the print and the metal encasing. Just delightful.
 I really liked the 'Dr. Pepper' print on the inside of this one.
 I even came away with some vintage fabric, I was a very happy girl.

A couple things I learned from this particular experience especially when shopping on a budget.  Take inventory of everything there and keep in mind which items you really want. If there is an item that you can't live without that might be gone in 10 minutes scoop it up, otherwise keep looking. Once you know which items you want decide what exactly you are willing to pay for the items. I didn't do this and I felt less confident in the haggling process. Last, haggle. I'm not great at this, but everyone I encountered was very kind, I say return the favor.

June 7, 2013

Sitting Down with a Creative: A Storyboard Artist

This week we are sitting down with Andres Salaff. Andres is a storyboard artist at Cartoon Network. It was a delight to be able to learn so much about his career and what has brought him this far.

Q: What does a typical day for you look like?
A: It depends on what stage of the process I'm in; it’s either writing or thumb-nailing, or doing clean up.

Q: What does it mean when you say, “writing, thumb-nailing, or clean up?”
A: "Writing" is writing out a script for a show. "Thumb-nailing" is doing a quick sketch of storyboards on small post-it notes. Basically we pitch the thumb-nails to make sure the story works on a weekly basis. We get 5 weeks to get a whole storyboard. “Clean up” is getting down to the final storyboards.

Q: Why did you choose storyboarding?
A: All of the elements are all about story telling. There is a lot of possibility for writing. I love animation and storyboarding for me is like setting a bunch of key frames. I like it because I get to draw.

Q: What is one of your favorite projects you’ve worked on so far?
 A: One of my favorite ones so far is my fourth year film from college which was CalArts. (California Institute of the Arts) The film is called “Life Line.”
via Life Line Film
Q: What was your film about?
A: It’s about a scientist going through different dimensions trying to find his lost love.
via Life Line Film
Q: Why was Life Line your favorite?
A: It was my last personal project and it was kind of like a culmination of everything I had learned at the time and I had gotten to do everything on it; the animation, the storyboarding, and the background.

Q: What has it taken you to get this far in your career?
A: Love of the craft, lots of hard work, and God.

Q: What is your experience in traditional art?
A: My traditional art came in when I started applying to animation school. I did traditional art for two years before I got in the animation school.

Q: In your personal work, outside of storyboarding, what is the most important part of creating for you?
A: There is something that is inside of you. You’ll have something that you feel like drawing and you have to get it out. You get inspired by stuff and it's fun. It’s really fun.

Q: Who or what has been the biggest influence in your artistry?
A: Well I would stay personal experience and all scopes of art; from literature, to music, to film. That is what's cool about being creative; you can get inspired by anything. But I would say in my work I try to draw on life experience.

Q: What are your career goals?
A: One of my ultimate goals is to write and direct a feature. Maybe get a show going, make stuff that is true to myself, that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Q: What advice would you give to those pursing art?
A: Have a balance of imagination and drawing from life. Study art, and see what is fun for you and what you like about it. Don’t let getting discouraged stop you. Classes are good and the more you know about different skills, the more will pour over into your art. If you’re doing some kind of sculpting it will carry over into drawing and vice versa. Even doing landscaping will pour over it to your art.

Q: How has your faith shaped your artistry?
A: Because artistry is everything I do and my faith is the reason for everything I do. It has shaped it in a lot of ways. It has definitely helped me not take my career and art for granted.
 To learn more about Andres and see more of his work head over to his blog

June 4, 2013

Behind The Name

Yesterday morning after I finished my Bible Study I was flipping through my Bible Dictionary and decided to turn to "Elah." About 4 years ago I decided to pursue photography and I needed a business name. I thought through lots of different names; I'm sure I came up with a few, but none of them felt right. I made lists and thought about different things I liked. Then I remember sitting down and thinking about God and thinking about things that reminded me of God. One thing stayed with me about that time and it was trees. There is something about trees that remind me of God. They're are strong, they provide shade, shelter, protection, and even food. When the wind blows through the trees they feel very gentle too.
 After that I knew I wanted the name to have something to do with trees, but I wanted it to be a little more original then just, "tree." I remember sitting at my computer one day doing research trying to come up with a name and then I stopped. I hadn't yet asked God what he wanted the name to be, so in that moment I prayed and asked him. A minute later, while doing research I found it. Elah. "Oak," "Mighty Tree," or "terebinth." The name "Elah" has stayed with me since.

So back to yesterday morning, I wanted to share some of my favorite Elah meanings.
 - A valley where Saul and his army set up battle lines against the Philistines.  {Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines.} I Samuel 17:2 
- The valley runs east and west just north of Socoh. There David defeated Goliath. {The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.” David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”} I Samuel 21:9

So there you have it, a small glimpse behind the name.
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