Thursday, February 24, 2011
I'm working on a digital illustration for my brand newest grandniece... born last week! I haven't seen her yet, because I've had a bad cold, and I don't want to be around a newborn with a nasty cough. But next week I'll finally get to meet little Brooke Louise. She has a mop of dark hair... no idea of her eye color, but I'd have to guess blue. I can't wait!
Here's a li'l sneak peek... I still have tons of work left to do, but I didn't want my many readers to think I was idle in all my spare time. I think it will be cute, a little different from my recent robot illustrations, but probably more typical of my 'regular', non digital illustration style. It's kind of fun to see how these illustrations evolve & develop...I just start with a sketch, and let the art take on a life of its own!
So, watch this space. I think it will take me another couple of days to complete, and then hopefully I'll be happy enough with it to post it on my blog.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 10:28 PM
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I have a wonderful friend, that I've had for many years: since I was 16 and she was 15. Through a long series of twists & turns, we are sort-of related: her sister is married to my brother. (we introduced them & set them up back in 1970) so now we share a bunch of nieces & nephews and find ourselves together at many family gatherings. We don't see each other as often as we'd like, but when we do get together, there is always so much to talk about and share. Nancy and her husband Phil entertained the family at my Mom's 99th birthday 2 weeks ago... music brought us together back when we were young, and it has been a constant in our friendship. Nancy has been a huge influence in my life, and I wanted her to know how much our friendship means to me. I created this layout in her honor!
You can read a bit more of our story in the layout, her brother Bob, who unwittingly started the friendship wheels in motion, sits in the 'C' in the title. Click on the layout for a closer view.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 5:45 PM
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I know David Brinkley is dead. He's been gone for nearly 10 years, and is missed by many, because he was a talented and well-respected newscaster from the fifties through the nineties. So, why was he in the trees? I have no idea, but I spotted him as I was driving through a busy intersection this morning in Culver City, on my way to work.
I didn't have my telephoto lens on the camera, so I just grabbed my camera and clicked, as I tried to avoid rear-ending the car in front of me. I was sure when I enlarged my photo, I would discover I had imagined the whole thing, but when I looked closely I realized that Mr. Brinkley must be haunting that tree... surely anyone could see his face if they tried.
Where? where, you say. Well, look closely at the photo. See the trees? See David Brinkley? (This is almost as fun as looking at 3D trees here!) No? You can't see him? Well, he sure grabbed my attention, even from 100 yards or more away. I must have supernatural dead-journalist powers. (I hope that isn't disrespectful, sorry, Mr. Brinkley)
Ok, I'll make it a little larger. Do you see him now? Hmmm? No? Ok, I'll help you out.
Here's David Brinkley, and here's a big red arrow pointing at his image in the tree. See? Ok, he looks a little grizzled, after all, his face is made of leaves. But I think the resemblance is striking.
You can go back to whatever you were doing now.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 10:46 PM
Saturday, February 19, 2011
I always take so many pictures when I travel, but I don't always want to make many layouts of my trip. So, I do what I usually do: jam them all into one big two-pager. Here are a few highlights of my trip to Utah this past week. I am sure there will be at least one more, but for now, here's a look Around Utah. (click on the picture for a closer look)
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 1:15 AM
Friday, February 18, 2011
There's something special about that first car... whether Mom & Dad spoiled you with a Beamer (oh, really?), or you worked for years it seemed, for a beat-up old Pinto- that first car is a milestone. I bought my first car when I was 25 years old. Although I used the family car when I was in high school, when I went away to college, my trusty 10-speed was my only means of transportation... rain, shine or snow. After I graduated from BYU, and returned home for my 'big advertising job' in 1976, it soon became obvious that I couldn't borrow my folks' 1967 yellow Corvair forever. I saved & saved, and found the perfect car: a well-maintained and ding-free 1971 orange Volkswagen Beetle. I bought it from one of my co-workers at Grey Advertising, and I remember going to the Bank of America to take out a small loan to pay for my $1500 purchase. I loved that car. It ran like a top, got great gas mileage, and I felt so sporty and cool driving a VW. I never had any problems with it, until that fateful day in the summer of 1982. It was a Sunday, and we had put our two little ones down for an afternoon nap. I heard the crash on the street in front of the house, where I had parked the car. When I looked out the window, the car was no longer in front of the house. In panic I rushed outside, to discover that my sweet little bug was pushed down the street, smack into the back of another parked car. A crazy teenage boy, had careened his car around the corner of our street, and smashed into my car first. My car hit another car, then he proceeded to carom off a few other cars on the block before coming to rest halfway down the block. The street looked like a minor war zone. Those old VWs had their engine in the rear, so although the body damage wasn't all that bad, the engine, and thus the car, was a total loss. That was a sad day, the end of my little Orange Volkswagen.
Does your first car have a story?
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 12:01 PM
Monday, February 14, 2011
I haven't had time to do any scrapping on my trip, but I couldn't resist playing a bit with this photo of my daughter's beautiful roommate Lindsay, taken at Amy's bridal shower. I only cropped it a tiny bit...
I thought she looked a lot like a Renaissance lady so I decided to give her a romantic look with some artistic filters, and a tiny bit of brushwork.
We had a lovely day yesterday, my sweetie Bruce arrived from California Saturday night, so it was fun to be together again. We went to church with Amy & Jon, and then met the rest of Jon's family at his brother's home in Bluffdale.
Bruce enjoyed meeting Jon's dad Craig, they seemed to hit it off splendidly!
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 4:11 PM
Saturday, February 12, 2011
It's been non-stop bride spoiling... yesterday I finally got to meet the Parents of the Groom: Jon's folks Shanon & Craig. We all hit it off from the very beginning. It was Amy's birthday, so we treated her to a lovely lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Then the boys went one way, and the girls went... shopping! We spent the entire afternoon at the mall, and Amy definitely hit the jackpot. She was treated to a lovely outfit including shoes from Shanon, and I was able to get her the perfect pearl necklace to go with her wedding gown. We wore ourselves out! It was so fun to spend this time together.
In the evening, we joined Jon's folks (who are also visiting from out of town, just to meet us, and attend some of the pre-wedding festivities), plus our son Alec, his wife Alicia, and our grandson Jackson for a rowdy birthday dinner at the Texas Roadhouse Restaurant. (The restaurant was rowdy, we were all pretty calm!)
This morning was Amy's bridal shower- it was a lingerie shower, and it was so fun. She had a pretty good turnout, and got some pretty, skimpy things! As I mentioned in my last post, Amy has the sweetest group of friends. She's definitely a 'girlfriend' type of person... she's always had lots of close friends, and she works very hard to stay connected with her pals through the years. One of her friends from elementary school in New York lives in Salt Lake and was invited to the shower. Amy attracts friends like a magnet. It was fun to see my niece Laura, and many of Amy's old roommates and even one missionary companion.
One of the highlights of the day was going to the second fitting of Amy's wedding gown. I'm not going to show you a picture of it, it will be a surprise on that special wedding day in 6 weeks. But you can have a tiny peek!
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 10:00 PM
Friday, February 11, 2011
I spent much of my day in Utah County yesterday... Amy's printer is in Spanish Fork (I've designed her wedding announcements). Lane Henderson has a wonderful print shop, he was Amy's mission president in Italy, and is so kind & helpful to work with.
I drove to Provo to take pictures... it was a glorious day- blue blue skies, and the snow on the mountains was magnificent. I drove around some of my old haunts, including the old house which once held my first real job: McLean Associates Advertising Inc. Today it's the home of Greg Soter & Associates. He, incidentally was my old boss. I didn't realize until later that the business was still there! (We're talking 1975 folks, that was a LONG time ago!)
There are lots of lovely old homes in Provo, some have been beautifully restored, like this lovely one:
There's just something about the charm of old brick, gingerbread detail, and the lovely window molding that I just love.
The heartbreaking sight that I specifically wanted to shoot, was the ruins of the Provo Tabernacle, which was gutted by fire in mid-December. The Tabernacle was built in the late 1800s, and has been the site of over 100 years of church meetings, concerts, and other public events. It's been beautifully maintained through the years, and its destruction has been a huge blow to the community. The hope is that the building can be restored, and crews are busy working, trying to shore it up so that the experts can determine if the building can be saved. It was a sad sight, but I was happy NOT to see a flattened pile of rubble. There's always hope!
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 11:11 AM
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
I'm in Utah for a week, helping daughter Amy get ready for her wedding in 6 weeks. She's so organized, and has done so much, but there are still plenty of things to do. I've finished designing her wedding announcements, and I'm taking the design to the printer tomorrow. Today she showed me the lovely venue where she is having the reception: it's called Cactus & Tropicals, and it's actually a nursery! Clever owners, they took advantage of the prime wedding market here in Utah, and offer a lovely setting for weddings, receptions, and other parties. It's definitely not a formal place- but it's perfect for Amy. I loved it too! After Amy got off work this evening, we met with Rachel her florist & decorator, and one of her best friends & bridesmaids, Stephanie, to go over the 'floor plan' of the reception, and make some final decisions on what goes where. It's going to be just beautiful! Photo at right shows Stephanie (and her cute little daughter Sasha)
Amy, and Rachel.
We enjoyed a nice dinner with her Matron-of-Honor Tracie, (Maid-of-Honor Candace was ill and was unable to join us). I love Amy's friends... they are all amazingly helpful, fun, caring, and best of all- they love Amy almost as much as I do!
Amy played soccer tonight... good thing it's an indoor league- it's pretty cold here in Utah! Her game started at 10:20. I don't know how she does it... works a full day, then hours of wedding plans and meetings, then plays soccer! I'd never be able to keep up her schedule!
I was frustrated trying to take photos in the indoor stadium without a flash... I finally switched to the Sports setting, and I kind of enjoyed the fun, blurry results. Amy is the one in the black tank top.
I did get out a bit this morning, and took a few photos of some of the fun old buildings and signs I saw in downtown Salt Lake. I'm sure tomorrow I'll have another report!
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 11:14 PM
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Yesterday was our family celebration of my Mom's 99th birthday. It was a wonderful party, full of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, including Mom's newest great-grandbaby Jace, 2 months old. Bruce & I took many photos, it's a shame I could only use a very few on the layout. My sisters prepared an amazing feast, and young & old enjoyed great conversation, wonderful music (thanks to Nancy & Phil), delicious food, and reuniting with family. The kids had a great time running around the yard, nephew Jim & his wife Colleen brought their dog, so the kids were further entertained. There were lots of flowers, cards, and gifts. But most of all, it was a time to celebrate our love for a great lady, the anchor and heart of our family. We love you Mom!
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 10:31 PM
Friday, February 4, 2011
Today's my Mom's birthday, so I made a card for her too! As expected, sister Lynne had a love/ hate relationship with hers posted yesterday!
Since Mom said she didn't 'need' anything for her birthday this year, I decided to create a framed photo for her, celebrating family. She's been telling me that she wishes she could keep track of her great-grandchildren a little better, since they all live far away, and she doesn't get to see them often enough... so I simply created a grid with each of her 15 great-grandchildren, and added a lovely group photo taken this past summer at the Grand Canyon. Although not everyone was present, it was a pretty good representation of the Clark Clan. The green square in the corner is just waiting for another week or so, for the birth of Nikki & Brady's baby sister!
I created this 12x12" (I usually scrap 8x8"), and had it printed at Costco... gotta love Costco for those of us who don't have it together enough to plan a couple of weeks ahead of time to get gifts printed... I love Costco's 2 hour/ pick up service! It looked great in a nice Michael's frame. Mom was thrilled!
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 5:18 PM
Thursday, February 3, 2011
February is a big month in my family for birthdays... in the first four days of the month, we celebrate my oldest nephew's birthday, as well as my sister-in-law, my sister & Mom. Next comes daughter Amy on the 11th. So, I get into card-making mode and try to satisfy the intense pressure to make something unique for at least some of these family members. (Add Valentine's Day, and I'm about tapped out, creative-wise, by the middle of the month).
Older sister Lynne celebrated yesterday, so I made her a fun card. Well, fun for me. Lynne is not really nuts about my style of card making. I like to find old, funny family photos, and create humorous cards. She's a stylish, classy lady, and sometimes those old hairstyles & fashions of the 50s and 60s that I love to spoof, aren't exactly her favorite thing. But I persist, and she shows good humor and tolerates my little creative ventures. My latest creation is no exception. I found this adorable photo of sister Lynne (the one with the BIG hair), Mom, and me, from 1964. Lynne was famous for her bright color palette, fun florals & paisleys back then, so I found a great vintage fabric print that I thought looked like her. This is a typical folding card, front cover & inside. I love finding vintage fonts for my designs, these are pretty typical of 60s retro style.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 8:24 PM