Foodies for a Day

Today was not about [graphic] design, it was about the art of food. The original plan: Meet my mom for lunch and see a lecture at a bookstore then come home. What actually occurred: After seeing my mom’s artwork displayed in the window at Dimensions gallery in Petaluma, we had a yummy salad and caramelized-onions-with-lamb on a thin-crust pizza at Graffiti, did some impromptu antiquing (there happened to be an antique street fair going on), then landed at Copperfield’s book store to see a lecture by Cake Wreck blogger, Jen Yates, where we were served delicious cake balls and a chocolate cake made by local bakers. After all this we still had time to see a matinee showing of Julie & Julia. I love to cook, so this movie (and this day) was a total treat, and inspiring enough to make us go back to the bookstore to see what Julia Child cookbooks we could find. It seems they have a hard time keeping them on the shelf, but I ended up with some unexpected items — a non-Julia cookbook called “Curry Bible” and Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations,” which literally fell off the shelf on top of me. Being a fan, this was obviously a sign, so I took Anthony home with me as well. Looking forward to some good reading and cooking.

Bon appétit!

Have Your Cake and Eat it Too!

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deliciousI’ve known that “delicious” existed for a while, but never really checked it out or expected it to be something I would use. Boy, was I wrong!

How many times have you been at a friend’s house or client’s office, wishing you could remember “that website” that you bookmarked at home. Well, I’ve been there many times. I finally took a few minutes to look at delicious.com, and signed up to experience it myself. On Delicious you save all of your own bookmarks to an online account so you can access them from any computer with an internet connection. You can also make all or just some of your bookmarks public, so anyone else can see what sites you like. Pretty darn cool.

Now I can have my cake and eat it too. How delicious!

“Delicious is a social bookmarking service that allows users to tag, save, manage and share web pages from a centralized source. With emphasis on the power of the community, Delicious greatly improves how people discover, remember and share on the Internet…

…bookmark any site on the Internet, and get to it from anywhere
…share your bookmarks, and get bookmarks in return
…discover the most useful and interesting bookmarks on the web”

Read more about delicious and why you should use it here.

Use Photography for Cool Backgrounds

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Textures, photos and graphics create different feelings, from moody to magical, and can make an otherwise boring print design, web page or blog banner more interesting. Careful not to go over the top — textures can also be inappropriate if they have nothing to do with your subject!

Max at Design Shard has taken a series of snapshots from around his house (example pictured above), which he is offering free of charge to use as background images. Check out his textures at DesignShard.com: 300+ Free HI-Res Grunge Textures You’ve Never Seen Before!
» Note: you want to download these, you have to click the long link names in the designshard.com website, then you will be taken to a Rapid Share download page, click free user, and your download will begin.

Twitter-to-Facebook Simplified

Stamp___Twitter_by_shadowed_light_waves Facebook_by_CyantreI have been avoiding the whole idea of allowing my tweets to show up on Facebook — I never thought it seemed very nice to make my friends read all my business-related tweets. On the other hand, I sometimes tweet info that I think anyone can benefit from, so the idea of being able to add just those tweets would be nice. I came across a blog post by David Meerman Scott that agrees, and offers a simple tutorial on using a Facebook application called Selective Twitter Status. Read David’s post, Selective Twitter Status Updates to Facebook: A tutorial.

Your feedback, please!

If you use Selective Twitter Status, please post a comment for me about what you think. I also encourage you to read the comments at the bottom of David’s post for others’ opinions. My understanding is that Tweetdeck also lets you do something similar. Post your comments on Tweetdeck/Facebook interface too, please. Many thanks!

StumbleUpon

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Mona Lisa – Starry Night, ©2006 Scott Wade

Happy Monday!
These are a few fun sites I stumbled upon last week, using StumbleUpon:

Unusual Art and Design

http://dirtycarart.com / Video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAonZ7FbfGQ

http://www.thisblogrules.com/2009/08/ultra-realistic-paintings-on-wall.html

http://www.dontclick.it

Fun with folding

http://www.howtofoldashirt.net (a cult classic)

http://haha.nu/creative/how-to-make-roses-from-maple-leaves

This for my birthday, please!

http://www.joyofbaking.com/RedVelvetCake.html

Enjoy the rest of your week!

4 Lessons on Changing Your Twitter Name

Stamp___Twitter_by_shadowed_light_wavesWhen I signed up on Twitter, I found out that someone was already using “my” name, (heathergraef), so I had to choose an alternate (heathergraefcom). So what happens if I want to change my name in the future? Will everything get messed up? The answer is yes…and no. Read on to for 4 stories about how people lost — and found their Twitter identities.

1. Problem

Blogger Ernesto Burden addresses how squatters can took his Twitter name:
http://ernesto.burdenfamily.net/2009/05/ever-wonder-what-happens-if-you-change-your-twitter-username-a-cautionary-tale%E2%80%A6/

2. Solution

Jon Bishop explains how he changed his Twitter name without losing followers:
http://www.jonbishop.com/2009/01/how-to-change-your-twitter-name/

3. Warning

Brad at Powered Production warns us on what NOT to do:
http://poweredproduction.com/news-events/how-to-twitter-name-change

4. Hope

TheNextWeb.com explains how to get a Twitter name that is already taken, but is currently inactive:
http://thenextweb.com/2009/01/08/how-to-snap-up-that-twitter-username-youve-always-wanted/

Social Networking Tips

Stamp___Twitter_by_shadowed_light_wavesNew to Social Networking?

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking sites can be quirky to figure out, but the more you dig, the more you can learn how to make these sites work best for you. For example, you may want more followers, or maybe you suddenly have too many! What do you do? What if you don’t like the name you chose? How do you post only the tweets you want on your Facebook page? Don’t like the Twitter background you got when you signed up? Are you aware of the privacy settings on Facebook? There are ways to deal with all this, and I am continually learning more.

Within this blog you will find tips on using social networking sites

Select category “Twitter Tips” or “Facebook Tips” in the the “Blog Article Topics” menu in the sidebar on this blog to find my posts on this subject. I share my own ideas about how to create great-looking pages from a design standpoint, and I post links to what others have to say about social networking practices.

Share Your Tips

If you have any Twitter secrets or tips to share, your comments on this blog. Simple, easy-to-understand comments are a big plus for readers who are new Tweeters. Thanks!

All a twitter about ‘Sweet Lorraine’

Stamp___Twitter_by_shadowed_light_wavesMy friend Lorraine from Canada persuaded me to get start using Twitter, which lead me to revisit my Facebook page, and subsequently, start this blog. Because of this gift Lorraine gave me, I have to give her a shout out! Here’s the skinny:

Lorraine’s love/hobby/part-time profession is belly dancing. You can find links to her favorite and fantastic music by following Lorraine (aka @Oldbellydancer) on Twitter.

…enter the ideal segway…

Which brings me to her other love, husband Geoff Lapp, popular Canadian jazz musician (aka  on Twitter). For more info about Geoff’s music visit GeoffLapp.com, follow @GeoffLappTrio on Twitter, or listen to Sweet Lorraine on CDBaby, and buy a DC there while you’re at it.

So, thanks Lorraine, for getting me into social networking. I guess this is what its all about!

What is personal branding?

“Personal branding is the process of how we market ourselves to others.”

This was quoted from the website of Dan Schawbel, who “is the leading personal branding expert for Gen-Y”. I have been following Dan on Twitter, and have read several features on his blog, which are very informative.

“Dan established the first 360 degree personal brand website, DanSchawbel.com, creating a new standard for career development.  Also, he engaged and facilitated collaboration around a standard definition of personal branding and created the first template for a personal press release, focusing on promoting individuals through new and traditional media streams.”

Social networking: the new staple

Due to the buzz about social networking, my goals and views as an designer are changing. Its become abundantly clear that business cards and websites are no longer the main ‘staple’ of a marketing campaign, at least for millions of people and companies. In August 2009, Facebook hit 100 million users, and Mashable reports that Twitter reaches 14 million people each month.

This means that not only should your logo, or overall graphic id need to exist on your stationery, print and websites, but should also carry throughout each of the social networking profiles you manage. You can use a custom background (on Twitter), or in other cases upload a customized graphic where your profile photo belongs (on Facebook). Most blog templates have a customizable header, where you can upload your own banner graphic.

Tune in to my blog for more on how to integrate your graphic identity into your social network.

Its a bouncing baby blog!

I was recently helping a musician friend, Emily Bonn finish up the Photoshop artwork for her new CD cover. Afterwords, we went out for pizza and beer, and the subject of turning 40 came up. We were talking about a whether we’ve had a change in attitude, or different goals at this age than we had before. For me, ’40’ and ‘personal branding’ seemed to collide this year, and social networking is a big part of that. As the world population becomes obsessed with blogging and tweeting, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. After updating my website, and getting my feet wet on Twitter, I knew it was the right time for me to have a baby blog.