Monday, May 31, 2010
Amy came home for a few days this weekend. She had spent the past week in Costa Rica for a fun getaway, and decided to stop in California to see the Old Folks. We always enjoy any time we get to spend with her... and this weekend was no exception. On Friday, Bruce and Amy headed to Disneyland. Those two always have so much fun together and it warms my heart to see the great love and admiration between them. I had to work, and since my office is roughly halfway between home & Disneyland, I drove down to meet them for the evening. We had an excellent dinner, hit a few rides (alas, we must have jinxed Splash Mountain.... the ride broke down while we were waiting in line. We came back a couple of hours later, and it happened again. Rats!) Bruce and I could have used Fast Passes, but Amy didn't have one. But who needs to get through the lines fast? I think standing in line, visiting, taking pictures, and just enjoying each other was half the fun... or more!
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 12:08 PM
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I've been doing a little research on the topic of 'white space'. In graphic design, as well as fine art, it is the area 'between' things- photos, type, line, illustration. Back in the 50s and 60s, advertising took 'white space' to a whole new level, elevating it from something to be avoided (after all, space cost money! Cram it full of as much as possible!) to something elegant. Less is More. Simple is Classy. I remember well the old VW campaign of the 60s, with a variety of clean, minimalist full-page ads that grabbed us with their zingy message and humor. Definitely, these ads have stood the test of time.
One of the important design aspects of white space, was that it gave your eyes somewhere to rest.... instead of looking to and fro, bombarded with color, type, tons of photos or illustrations, your eye could focus on the subject. Clean. Restful. Strong. (unlike most of my work!)
In advertising (which is where I got my start) white space was a desirable thing- it meant your product was sophisticated and modern. In scrapbooking, there is a trend of 'white space' too. I'm not really a huge fan of that particular trend.... most of these layouts tend to have tons of little 'things' piled all over the photos, kinda negating that eye resting thing. But I was indeed inspired to create a white space layout about my Granddoggy Coco, whom we spent a bit of time with on Sunday. Coco looked like she owned the kitchen floor, so I thought I'd call this layout "Coco the Great". You rock, Coco!
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 1:34 PM
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I took these sweet photos of Bruce cuddling with little Jackson on Sunday. The Cute Little Family were visiting from Utah, and we were so happy to get to spend some quality time with The Perfect Grandbaby. I KNOW all babies are perfect to their parents and grandparents. I KNOW every child is the cutest or most beautiful or handsomest ever. But in our case, it's true. It's pointless to deny it.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 6:10 PM
Saturday, May 22, 2010
In the past week or so, I've done several layouts that I haven't blogged about. The first one is about my little grandson Aidan's visit to my office. Aidan lives with his Mom in one state, and our son Ian, his Dad, and stepmom Jessica live in another. Recently when he came to visit us, we were able to coordinate a great reunion. It was entirely a surprise for Aidan, and he was so excited to see his Dad. They met up at my office, which is Every Boy's Dream Place- the company that makes Bakugan and Tech Deck toys. Some of my co-workers loaded him up with toys, he got a whole boxful of goodies.
This next layout is just a simple graphic design with a few photos I took one evening last week on my way home from work. The way the sun touched the edges of the hillsides as it dipped behind the horizon was so gorgeous, I just had to try to capture the light.
The last one is my Topanga layout.... The cute fiddler girl in the large photo is my friend Lauren who is one of my bandmates in the Boney Mountain Mamas. Lauren entered the contest in the Advanced Fiddle category, and won 3rd place. (Click on the photo for a closer view)
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 1:16 PM
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Every year I attend the Topanga Banjo & Fiddle Contest/ Festival held at the beautiful Paramount Movie Ranch in Agoura. I volunteer to do the calligraphy for the awards certificates, and this year Bruce wanted to go, and asked for a volunteer assignment. We were both very excited that his job was to be one of the official photographers, taking pictures of the various informal 'jams' and really, just about anything interesting that caught his eye. We both ended up taking a lot of pictures! The event was this past Sunday, so after Church, we drove down and spent an enjoyable few hours roaming the site, and soaking in the music and atmosphere. It was fun running into old friends, and meeting some new ones.
The design at the top here, was my entry for the poster contest. I was really excited about my design, and could envision it on the front of all the t-shirts. But alas, it was not to be. I was surprised to see that they simply used the Topanga Festival logo design for the shirts. I have no idea why, but I'm adding a photo of a row of t-shirts that had this years' design. Pretty boring, if you ask me.
I decided to put together a little photo essay with some of our photos. I think we ended up with almost 500, and although I'll probably do a layout or two, there were just so many interesting people and things to see, I thought this might be fun to try.
So here goes:
The Old and the Young
Old Friends and Newer Friends
Cowboys and Cowgirls
and the Furry
Some came in Skirts
Some Won, and Some Didn't
But we all had a wonderful time!
(yes, that's me playing the autoharp!)
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 6:21 AM
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Bruce and I have been attending a financial seminar for the past two days, and during the breaks I decided to do a little scrapping. I did 3 layouts, but the last one, the one I kinda threw together, ended up being the most fun. The addition of the Superman figure (a photo of a giant Action Figure high up on the wall of the Times Square Toys 'R Us) was a last minute brainstorm, and I think it really adds a lot of pizzazz to the composition. Sometimes the best layouts and designs are happy accidents, and I'm always happy to be a victim of such an accident.
I learned a lot at the financial seminar: I'm totally a money idiot, and it was very inspiring. Not only for the advice we received; but it was great to see the presenter at work, and watch his enthusiasm and creativity. It made me want to teach seminars myself. Ha ha, I don't think I'll be doing any money talk in the near future, but I'd love to similarly inspire scrappers and digital designers. That would be a dream path for me.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 7:27 PM
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Yay! No more contests! (0f course, you can still vote until the end of the month, but I won't bug you any more!)
Right around the corner from my office is the headquarters and factory for See's Candy. If you are lucky enough to live where you can get See's Candy, it's always a treat to taste their delicious chocolates & amazing suckers. I can't figure out why I can't smell the delicious chocolate wafting its way over the Culver City sky like I can smell the fermenting hops when I drive by the Budweiser factory, but I digress. Anyway, I've always loved the cool retro black & white graphics of the See's stores & packaging. I thought a layout might be in order. Can't you just taste that milk chocolate & caramel, or the dark chocolate with almonds? Yummy! It's so nice that looking at photos is totally low cal! Enjoy.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 11:53 AM
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Yes, I'm back begging, this is part two of my shameless request for votes. (See part 1 with full instructions here- You can also read it in my previous post.)
Here is the link to the DigiShopTalk Scrapper's Choice Contest page: Link
The following are the remainder of the categories I entered, and the name of my layout.
Best Journaling: I Was Twenty Years Old
Best Hidden Gem: Nikki in Wonderland
Best Use of Brush Work: The Red Hat
Best Use of Extraction Technique: City Girl
Best Heritage Layout: Color Wasn't Invented by Kodak
Best Two-page Layout: The Petersen Automotive Museum
Best Layout Without a Photo: Breaking the Rules Artfully
Best Baby/ Child Layout: Safe in Grandma's Arms
Best Pet Layout: Meet Jazzie
Best Nature/ Scenery Layout: Winter Canyon
Most Humorous Layout: The Adventures of Little Spock
Again, you can vote once a day per category. I'd love it if you'd vote for my layouts, but I'll never know if you don't. But Brownie points will come to those who take the time to wade through this!
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 4:27 PM
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I've never done this before. In fact I really hate it when people do it, but you know, I'm going to do it anyway! I have entered a contest that requires votes to win....and I'd love it if you'd stop by and vote for me. But it's a bit more complicated than that. I'll try to make it as simple as possible, in a complicated-type of way. First of all, it's a Digital Scrapbooking Contest. There are over 30 categories of layouts for the competition, I'm entered in 20 of those categories. Whew! The contest is called Scrapper's Choice Awards, at DigiShopTalk. The way they've set up the contest, we are encouraged to link our entry to Facebook, Twitter, or email, then ask people to cast a vote (you have to register at the site to vote, but there's no obligation or cost). But I don't want to do it that way, because that would take you directly to my layout or layouts, and although I want your vote, you don't have to vote for me at all. I want you to see all the other amazing work done, and then choose for yourself who you will vote for. I'll never know if you did or didn't vote for me.
Here's the link to the contest page: Scrapper's Choice Awards Page. Start there. I have one layout each in the following categories:
Best Overall Layout: NewYorker (the name of my layout- you'll have to find each layout within the section, then cast your vote)
Best Title: Sheepscape
Best Title Work: Museum
Best Use of Blending Technique: The Empty Nest
Best Shadow Work: Not Your Ordinary Museum
Best Aam layout: (that means best 'all about me' layout- My Life Has Been a Tapestry
Best Use of Multiple Photos: Through the Roof
Best Graphic Style Layout: Not Your Ordinary Museum (again)
Best Inanimate Subject Layout: It Really IS a Small World After All
Best Photo: Don't Assume Anything
PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU CAN VOTE ONCE A DAY UNTIL THE CONTEST IS OVER AT THE END OF THE MONTH. I will post the rest of the categories on a new blog entry! Thanks for reading this!
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 8:59 PM
Monday, May 10, 2010
I really need to start a regular series of blogs about the weird and unusual sights I see daily in the Los Angeles area. Here's a sight that epitomizes the beach lifestyle: a cow on the balcony. Perhaps he loves to feel the wind in his fur. Perhaps he can smell the wonderful filet mignon cooking at Moonshadows Restaurant next door. (NOOOOOO! Not cooking steak!) Maybe he just wants to watch the surfers and dream of riding his own waves. OK he's a fake cow. But a girl can imagine, can't she?
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 10:40 PM
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Today is the 30th anniversary of my very first Mother's Day... it's hard to believe that 1980 was thirty years ago! I remember it so well, but what prompted this bit of nostalgia was the fact that both my daughters-in-law will be celebrating THEIR first mother's days this year too... Alicia as a new Mom, and Jessica as an official Mother's Day stepmom, which is truly a wonderful thing. I haven't had too much personal experience with stepmoms, but my sweet Father-in-law Henry married again later in his life, and his wife Ellen, Bruce's stepmom, was so dear to my heart. She was kind, unselfish, loving, and always so sweet to me, and our children- her 'step grandchildren'. Grandma Ellen, as she was known, was a huge part of our lives.
Happy Mother's Day, moms....
and I wish the happiest Mother's Day of all to my own sweet Mom- the best Mom of All.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 8:21 AM
Thursday, May 6, 2010
I have decided that trying to create a layout using tons of photos, while fun & a good way to 'use up' all those photos, is really quite challenging. How to make it different from the last multi-photo layout? How to make it a bit more fun? Unusual? Eye-catching?
The jury's still out on whether this layout meets the criteria, but I did have fun making it, and I hope you enjoy it too. Click on the photo for a closer look.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 4:45 PM
Monday, May 3, 2010
I just want everyone to know that I have the two most wonderful daughters-in-law in the world. Sweet Alicia is an amazing wife, mother, and friend. As a new Mom to little Jackson, she has taken to Motherhood so naturally, I am inspired each time I'm around her. She's a great wife and companion to Alec, and she's so close and loving with us, and her own family. We couldn't ask for more!
Our daughter-in-law Jessica, is the subject of this layout. Last weekend, Ian and Jessica came out to visit us, and we were joined by our grandson Aidan. Jessica is Aidan's step-Mom, and I can't imagine any woman taking to that calling with more warmth, love, devotion, and understanding than Jessica. She has helped a difficult situation enormously, with her wisdom, patience, knowledge, and kindness. (oh, I am full of flowery adjectives, aren't I?) She is a wonderful wife to Ian, we are so glad they found each other. I wanted to make a layout to honor her, and let her know just what she means to us. All I could think of to say was 'Thank You, Jessica'.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 8:01 PM