Friday, May 20, 2011

Brilliant Bundles Giveaway!


As you may have heard, the Brilliant Bundles project proposal is up on kickstarter! Now my future rests in your hands and with this amazing givaway, every body wins! Winner will be chosen at random on July 3rd 2011 at 11pm EST
The lucky winner will receive a pre ordered Brilliant Bundles Presents Shapes! DVD package including DVD, soundtrack CD, interactive felt board and a set of flash cards!


GIVEAWAY RULES:
1)         Follow this blog
2)         Leave a comment telling me you did
3)         Pledge to the project or share its link on your FB, Twitter, or your blog and leave a comment telling me you did and show me where!

*winner will receive award upon project completion after goal funding has been reached.

Thanks so much for all your support!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Kick Start


Hello, hello! I am back after a short hiatus. Production on Brilliant Bundles has been slowed for funding reasons, but that is all about to change! My wonderful brother recently introduced me to a website called kickstarter. I have just been in awe at how much support there really is out there for artists and their ideas! What a truly wonderful concept to applaud. Ever since I heard about this site, I have been working on one heck of a pitch video to submit. This is a segment from it that will showcase what a day is like in the life of a stay at home work at home mommy! Youll laugh, youll cry… youll be out of breath!



Filming a toddler for 12 hours, then condensing that footage down to 2 and ½ minutes was no easy task especially with having to rely on my outdated equipment. Initial pledges for this project will be used to purchase a more reliable video camera, still camera, color printer, and updates for my computer so that it doesn’t take hours upon hours to render a project! The remainder of the pledges will go towards all other production costs. Every pledge amount will receive something awesome in return! Ill let you guys know when its up and ready on kickstarter and until then you are always welcome to donate right here on the blog if you feel this project has as much potential as I do! Thanks for all your support <3 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Triangle Food and Late Nights

Its 1am. The house is quiet with the exception of an occasional cat chasing one of Lucy’s toys across the kitchen floor and the static from the baby monitor mixed with the faint melody of Rockabye Baby Beatles soundtrack. It’s the prime hours of the night when I can just be me, alone, and focused. Its where most, if not all my motivation and productiveness comes from. Now to construct the set.







Toddler activity picnic table with crayon scribbled everywhere that mommy was too tired to clean up: Check.

Tablecloth printed scrap-booking paper: Check.

Plastic plate from play kitchen: Check.

Handmade felt food: Check.

Blue poster board backdrop to cover up alphabet and butterflies on playroom wall: Check.

Completely lame, most low budget set design EVER: Check.

Its processes like these that make me love this project even more. (If that were even possible.) Iv grown up in a family where budgeting was always necessary and honestly, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It constantly forces me to be creative and to make whatever I have laying around, work. Thanks to the power of technology and program education, I am able to make very little, look beautiful.

Here is some test footage. This will be redone with better movements, lighting and then after will be edited to emphasize the shapes within.
ENJOY!
video

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Handmade Production



Brilliant Bundles is all about creating handmade, and supporting handmade. As an artist this is very important me. Buying handmade means that you are supporting all the love, creativity and craftsmanship that goes into a piece of work and I think that makes it that much more special and meaningful. If you should need any convincing, take a peek at these 101 more reasons!

Production is moving along and I am enjoying every minute of it because I get to create MANY different artistic pieces and use a variety of different production methods.
Brilliant Bundles Presents… Shapes! Is the first of the DVDs to be released (hopefully within a few months) and I have started with triangles. I will be creating some stop motion animation scenes with this felt food I have made!


I wanted to include in every shape segment, a food reference because food is something that’s universal in a child’s every day surroundings and experiences. This is something that will add to the interactive experience by providing an educational reference to something they do everyday. When production is complete, these fun foods will become new additions to my daughter play kitchen J

Anytime Lucy watches something on T.V. the biggest thing that seems to grab her attention are the puppet characters. I took this into consideration when planning out my films and came up with a bunny character because one of her nicknames is Bunny J These DVDs and all my hard work and dedication are a direct result of the blessing that she is in my life, so I thought it only fitting. “Bunny” is also my way of supporting handmade. She was custom made by my good friend and former schoolmate Danielle of Danifo Handmade. I am so thrilled with the adorable result of Brilliant Bundles’ new main character. I will be using video to bring Bunny to life and to your television screens!



Friday, February 11, 2011

Thankful

I would like to introduce to everyone, a site like no other. Wish Upon a Hero is everything I aspire to be and more. It’s how I believe real change can take place in the world. There are truly no words great enough to express how I feel about this community but I am going to try.

      WUAH is an online social community that exists for one reason: To help people. Members can post a wish that is then published for the entire community to see. The wish can be for anything. You are asked to specify if it is a “need” or a “want” wish. Need being “I need food for my baby” and want being “I want to meet Madonna”. The majority of what you will see are the “need” wishes. Members can comment on your wish and they can offer to grant or partially grant it. The wisher then must accept or decline such offers. If you accept, then you can PM the person to give them the information they need to be able to send you what you need, or you can even put up a paypal button on your wish so people can donate towards what you may need. With anything that asks for your address or any other personal information, you should always be careful and cautious. The majority of the time, you will see that this community is there to help not harm. Trust your instincts. I had an incident a while ago where I had wished for a hero to help me buy flowers to send to my grandmother when my grandpa had died and I was unable to be there for the funeral, but could not afford the flowers when I needed to buy diapers. Within 3 minutes I had an e mail telling me that someone had offered to grant my wish. I was filled with such thankfulness and it was like a weight had been lifted off me. She told me shed buy an arrangement online and send it to my grandmother and asked me what I wanted the note to say. I gave her the information and then days passed. I e- mailed her, asking if everyting was ok but didn’t get an answer. Weeks passed.. nothing. I had been promised something so important in a time of need and then that promise was broken. I had even told my grandmother that these flowers should be arriving… and then they never did. I saw this “hero” commenting almost a year later on others wishes after being MIA for so long so I wrote her again, telling her how I felt about what she had done, but I never did receive a response. Like I said… be cautious.
      Wish Upon a Hero keeps score for you. It tells everyone how many times you have been a hero and people can look at what wishes you have granted. It also tells everyone how many wishes you have been granted and what they were for. My favorite thing about the site is the search option where you can type in key words for the kind of wishes youre looking for. This helps me because If I have something that Im looking to get out of the house, I can just look to see if anyone needs what I have, like baby clothes (which I will be sending to a single mom in need this week) and it makes it so much more personal to me. I would rather send someone something personally than just drop off a bag at good will (which I do regularly anyways) but I want to know that iv helped someone with a story.. someone who really needed it.

      I was helped this week for something really big. With the Brilliant Bundles DVDs I am working on, Iv been trying my best to find grants to fund it but to no avail. Like Iv said in an earlier post, it wont affect the quality of my work if I don’t get the grant, it would just take me longer to complete the project. I posted a wish asking for 100 DVD cases (specific ones from a site) and 2 extraordinary heroes chipped in and I was able to purchase them within an hour of  posting the wish! 
 It really is remarkable how people come together in this place to help one another out. My request didn’t solve world  hunger or stop a war, but it was meaningful to me, and I am thankful beyond words. I highly recommend this community to anyone who enjoys helping people. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Picky Trickey





It was nice to have a less frustrating food day with Lucy yesterday and today. It seems that every couple weeks she goes through these stages where when she once loved cherry tomatoes, this week she wont touch them! I try my best not to show my frustration around her cause I don’t want her to feel like Im disappointed that she wont eat certain foods. Iv started showing her all the things that will be going in to her lunch while im making it, and have at times given her a plastic bowl and a wooden spoon sometimes with a sprinkle of flour in the bowl and tell her she can help me cook J She loves it so much and I think it’s a wonderful sensory activity she can do while im preparing food and have to concentrate on a little more than just her at the time. Im looking forward to when shes a little older and can really help me in the kitchen. One of my top priorities as her mom is to help her develop in mind, body and spirit and nutrition and healthy eating plays a huge roll in that for us. There have been times Iv been made to feel like im obsessive or “mean” for limiting or all together restricting certain foods from her diet (mainly meat, cows milk, and corn syrup or excessive sugary foods) because I don’t believe in their nutritional values, but then I look at how happy and healthy she is and all those things go out the window. I think that every mom has the obligation to do what they feel is right for their own children and to each their own.
      Recently, in regards to Lucy’s spontaneous picky-ness I have been making her different kinds of shakes and drinks. Today she had a shake with coconut milk (original) ½ a banana, 2 medium sized strawberries, plain yogurt, ½ a tsp of vegetarian brown rice protein powder and a tsp of live acidophilus culture. I also make veggie drinks that she adores with fresh baby spinach, mango, flaxseed oil, (or sometimes cod liver oil) and a little apple, orange, or pineapple juice. Today she had a full cup of freshly made carrot juice with about 2tbs of apple juice in it! Iv been giving her just one or the other of these once a day and its amazing not only at how much she loves them, but I feel really great about all they have in them, working their way into her little body, functioning to help her be wholly nourished. Im an avid researcher when it comes to nutrition and am in love with sites out there like Weelicious, Chef Ann, and Holistic Moms.
These are some links to some nutritional information I also follow when considering Lucy’s food!




List of some common foods I give Lucy:

Ripe black olives and kalmata olives. (good source of antioxidants and polyphenols)
Okra (High in folic acid, vitamin A, C, and B6)
Cherry tomatoes (high in vitamin C)
Flax, fish, olive, and coconut oils  (excellent for brain development and healthy colons)
Beans (great source of clean protein and just about every other mineral you can think of!)
Whole grain breads, oatmeal, and seeds. (pumpkin and sunflower seeds) as well as homemade almond and walnut butters.
Carrots, sweet potatoes (beta carotene) 
Beets (high in vitamin A, potassium, and amino acids.)
Coconut milk (her main milk source. high in lauric acid.  The only other abundant source found in nature is in human breast milk.)
Brown rice (good source of fatty acids, fiber and vitamin B complex) I also supplement her milk with vegetarian brown rice protein. 
These are just a few of the regular things she loves and eats. I do everything I can to introduce her to any fruit and veggie I can! We just tried cactus fruit for the first time this week :)
A good rule I follow with her food is COLOR. The richer and brighter the color, the more nutrients the food will have. I try to make her meals ROYGBIV. Think of it as a spectrum...the most intense color is violet. (blueberries, plums, eggplant...) 



If anyone has the same passion for their kids nutrition and has any other information Id love to hear your ideas and research!  


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Icemageddon



This past Tuesday evening, people in my area who have AT&T lost cable and Internet around 7pm. I remember thinking “this sucks, now I cant get any work done, and Lucy wont get to wind down to her goodnight show on Sprout”. Ahh…we have a DVD player. Lets make it a relaxing movie night instead. Wait…I attacked the DVD player with a knife trying to get a disc out last week and it hasn’t worked since. Cross that out. Ohh! We have an old VCR player we got at a yard sale for $1 this past summer! Lets find some old tapes and give that a try. We found in the garage a box of old VHS tapes, mostly home movies of me figure skating in competition when I was 10 years old, and then some old Dinosaurs shows. (“NOT THE MAMMA!”) Does anyone remember those?! Haha.


Anyway, I got very excited about all these old movies, so we threw one in.. and… nothing but a fuzzy black and white image! By now it was time for Lu to go to bed so I went up to read her bed time books and sooth her to sleep. Just when she was almost out, we lost power. I knew as soon as it was gone that it probably would not be back on that night with the huge ice storm that was going on so I took her into my warm bed with the plush sheets and down comforter and we stayed fairly warm all night. We made it into the next day, and through naptime before the house reached about 50 degrees and we could no longer stand it and went to a hotel around the corner with my mom. Thank the universe for that hotel room! It not only had the heat we needed but also a full fridge, stove, kitchen filled with pots and pans. Truly a lifesaver. Only down point was that the “queen” sized bed they said it had was the same size if not smaller than my full sized bed at home so fitting myself, my mom, and little Lucy in the middle for the night was tight and uncomfortable. And that little stinker was so over stimulated by all the excitement that we couldn’t get her down til about 12:30am. She even woke again at 5:30am, climbed out of the bed and started playing with all her toys and talking to what I believe is her imaginary friend. Craziness. Thankful nonetheless. Left this morning to come home and our porch light being on was a sight for sore eyes. De-icing my car and trying to get it out of the driveway this morning, on the other hand, was not fun. If California wasn’t going under the ocean, id move there!
      Anyone else go through major power outages? 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Progress


Some things are falling into place…slowly but surely. Im actually enjoying the pace of all this because it gives me time to breath and time to spend with Lucy. Its not becoming overwhelming and thus I am able to keep the motivation high.
      Triangles, triangles triangles. I am dreaming in triangles. I would say I’m about ½ way through some major animation tests for the triangle section of the Shapes video. Ill also be doing circles, squares, rectangles, and stars. Maybe hearts as well. Its not just shapes that are going into this piece…theres so much more to think about. The animation needs to be engaging, educational, as well as interactive as there will be packages offered to compliment the DVD like “drool proof” flash cards and handmade felt boards. It is my mission to create something for both the children AND their parents/caregivers that will extend the education, interactive, and stimulation experience.
      Iv put out ads on Facebook, and Craigslist, asking for voice talent for when the production is ready. Iv also been searching out grants to be able to fund the project. I do not have any experience with the grant process, and let me tell ya…it’s not all that much fun! Lol. Its extremely difficult to find ones suited to this type of media. They are usually about supporting outdoor installation art. Frustrating for sure, but no matter, because the quality of this work will not at all be affected if a grant is not awarded. It will just mean taking a little longer to complete the work as I add my own funds little by little. This is the reason I decided to put a donation button on here. Every dollar counts! ($1 can buy me 2 small sheets of felt for some stop motion animation) J
Thanks to everyone who has donated so far!
If you choose to donate, please let me know and I will put you on a list to receive a special handmade gift to be given out when production is complete!
For your viewing pleasure, a few screen shots to some 2d computer graphic animation I am currently working on.









Friday, January 28, 2011

Patience...

Iv come a long way, yet I have so far to go. I am thankful everyday for the life that I have and even more thankful lately for the patience, motivation, drive, and excitement Iv been having to bring my idea to light. Iv made a loose schedule for working. I give myself 2 hours a night after Lucy goes to bed that I can experiment and implement with in peace. I don’t always follow it. More often than not, I become consumed and too concentrated and productive to stop after 2 hours. When I was just starting out with graphite portraits I used to cut corners and try to get it all done in one night because I wanted to see what it would look like!
(An early drawing in my career)



Since then Iv learned the value of breaking up time and having patience. Its made such a difference in the quality of my work. Iv also noticed that it doesn’t cause as much stress as it does when I pull the all nighters.
(Some newer pieces)






I am fully prepared and inspired to continue using patience in my everyday life. If I can see that its made this much of a difference in my drawings, than I dont doubt its powers to improve all else! 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What Happens When Internet Goes Out?


Its that hopeless feeling… like you’ve been cut off from the world and all of a sudden..you have NOTHING to do, right? Most of what I do for a living centers around being online, so I felt the void for sure. More than not having it to do some work, I felt like this more so because of my hopeless addiction to Facebook But no matter…I buckled down and got TONS of work done for Brilliant Bundles.
This is a clip of a test I did with scrap booking paper for the triangle section of the upcoming video.


video

I ended up waking with glitter all over me (and am still unable to get it off) from touching the background paper. I planned out the animation so that later I could reverse the footage in Final Cut Pro and make it look as if the paper was unfolding instead of folding. I think some of these will make for some nice transitions. What do you think? 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Brilliant Bundles Presents...Shapes!


It started with the name and the logo. The ideas started flowing after that.
      I spend a lot of my day playing with my daughter. We learn together and we grow together. While there are not hours and hours of TV being watched, we do have a little TV time for educational purposes. Im a fan of the Sprout channel as well as PBS. I don’t sit her in front of the TV and just walk away. I sit with her and repeat what is being emphasized. I make everything as interactive and engaging as I can for her. One of my favorite animation methods is stop motion. I love the tactile quality it brings with all of the textures available, and the movement is exciting. Lucy enjoys it as well.
      My work time on this project is usually after she goes to bed at night. I clean her playroom and I set up the table with some of the handmade pieces Iv made. For the triangle fish sequence, I have used different colored felt. The first of the DVDs will be titled: Brilliant Bundles Presents…Shapes! This is what my set up looks like.



Work with what you have right? LOL.
Just have to remember to keep the cat away next time :/





Screen shot from the fish sequence


Sunday, January 23, 2011

A journey Begins

This is the beginning of a journey.
            I guess you could say it started when I was 4 and ½ and my youngest of 4 siblings was born. Already at that young age I had been around lots of babies. I’m told there are photos of me nursing my baby dolls because that’s all I ever saw. My maternal instincts were apparent from the beginning. I was so fascinated by babies. I loved their little hands and little feet and little noses.
            Fast forward a few years when I was 12 or 13 and started to baby sit for the neighbor’s kids, and it continued from there. My after school jobs in high school all consisted of childcare. One of them was a special needs family. The summer I graduated and had turned 18, I was hired as an after school caregiver for the kindergarten to 2nd grade age group at a private daycare center. I was so determined to work in the infant and toddler rooms. I just wanted to be around babies more than anything!
            After about a year I started working in the infant room while once in a while substituting in the toddler room. I was in love with my job. It hardly ever felt like it was work to me.
            At this point I was still watching cartoons….something that fascinated me just as much as babies. I was made fun of quite frequently for this, but I didn’t care. Something about animation has always spoken to me. I consider it to be my second language. My parents both came from artistic backgrounds, mostly in television. While I had many talents in the fine arts area, like my mother, I made a business decision when entering college and choosing my major that would benefit my financial needs more than fine arts alone could. Or at least could in a shorter amount of time than it takes to establish yourself as a fine artist, something my mother has been working feverishly at for over 30 years now.


In 2003 I started my first year at the Columbus College of Art and Design, a private and very intensive 4 year program. I received an amazing scholarship based on my merit and portfolio. I spent morning till night most days, and would go straight from school to one of two of the families I was a nanny for. I spent nights with the baby, hardly ever sleeping and would leave from there at 7am to begin my morning commute to school for another long day. On days I got out early, I would sub in the infant or toddler room at the children’s center.
            In 2007 I receive my BFA and pretty much came home and slept for a month. In between sleeping, I was still subbing at the day care, sitting for a number of families, and starting to look for jobs within my major. Having been in love with all my “jobs” over the years I had come to the conclusion that having a job I hated just because it paid money wasn’t an option for me. I decided I was going to be a full time freelance artist. I had talent in many different areas of art ranging from photo-realistic graphite portraits to graphic 2d animation, and interactive web design. (Something CCAD is great at is producing well-rounded artists and I’v always been thankful for that experience.) I knew I would be happiest in my career choice if I had the option of staying in my pajamas while doing it, and making my own hours. Who wouldn’t!? lol. I created LMD Studios and have been running my own business since.
           In 2009 I gave birth to my daughter, Lucy Monet.  Being a mom is the most humbling experience of my life. It’s so  different than haven taken care of all the other family’s kids over the years. Now I get to be there for everything and guide her through. She is the reason for everything in my life. She is what gets me up in the morning. (its sort of hard to ignore that part lol) It is endlessly amazing to watch her grow and learn new things everyday, and so she is also the reason that I have combined my talents into one humongous mission to share what I have come to understand about the world around infants and toddlers, through animation and art which will eventually become a series of educational DVD’s. My intentions are to make these as handmade as they can possibly be. Right down to the felt and paper pieces I make for stop motion sequences. For some other additions I will be supporting handmade myself by commissioning other Etsy artists to make things for the films.
I invite you to come along on this journey with me while I create Handmade Interactive Education for Infants and Toddlers TM

“Stay Tooned”