9 July

Hurricane Season at work

640x320_Hurricane_Arthur

I made a whole set. Of both Hurricane and Tropical Storm banners (that’s 21 storm names each) that the web people can pull out of a folder and slap on the website as soon as the next storm rears it’s ugly head.  This was the first year the web banners have been requested. All the ‘open’ animations are done for all storm names as well, and sets of smaller on-air graphics are about done.

I hate hurricane season.

 

 

26 June

Two weeks later…

I think I’ve been fighting off a cold for two weeks.  For the second (or third) time this year, I spent my vacation time sick instead of being at a Con or otherwise out of state.  Went to doctor last week, but may need to go somewhere again.  I need my monitors raised and looking down at them is currently annoying and causes aches in my shoulders.

I really need to draw something today.  All I can actually think about at the moment is catching up on sleep when I leave work today.

How can I be useful today instead of complaining? okay, to-do list, go:

1. Draw something. Scribble. Anything

2.  Grocery shopping list

3.  Throw five minutes at my Etsy shop.

4.  Find some mechanical pencils to bring to work

5.  Pack markers before I forget again

Tomorrow:

1.  Plan of attack on trip to home 1 for cleaning

2.  Work on Catra

3.  Work on Hoth Leia Vest/organize loose fabric

4.  Find that missing thingie

5.  Make vet appointment for Penny for follow-up bloodwork

6.  Rinse new cat water fountain before it gets gross

 

Notes to self – shop for an exercise ball/chair for work.

15 June

Mwhahahahahaha

New digs are great.  I don’t have a privacy of a closed office anymore, but the cube has more drawers.  Technically, I do, in fact get a ‘view’ of the sky but it’s above eye level. Maybe it’ll amount for a smidge more vitamin D than I was getting on a regular basis, which was pretty much none.  The layout and overall design of the Charlotte newsroom appeals to me.  As near as I can figure, the whole thing is asymmetrical.   The drop tile ceiling is both tilted and has more than four edges.  There’s a wide staircase that leads to the ‘secret’ break room that we get to use on the weekends but during the week is ruled by the TWC sales people.  Our ‘break area’ is less of a break room and more of a coffee and drink dispenser location, with a separate closet crowded with the fridge and two apparently notoriously unreliable vending machines.  However, there’s Starbucks, more tea bags than simply ‘decaf’ and ‘regular’ and three flavors of free crystal light packs.

The Starbucks coffee turned out to only be the ‘blonde’ variety, but it’s still better than the generic k-cups we had in Raleigh.

I was about to run out to a nearby office supply store and pick up a new dry erase board, when one of my newly local co-workers warmly suggested that I use the board in the conference room.

I took a peek around the corner.

dry erase board

I’m tempted to quote Bugs Bunny but I feel like I’d be seriously dating myself.

 

 

24 April

The ‘Magic Wand’ Tool

I despise this thing.

It probably has good uses, but for my daily work I more or less never use the Magic Wand Tool.

A large portion of my average work day is the formating of headshots for TV broadcast use. While we’ve recently updated our style to HD, our headshot format size is still only 512×512.  Many of our web formatted images aren’t much bigger, and image sizes are a constant factor. For every time I’ve breathed a sigh of relief that I sourced a hi-res headshot, I also mentally shake a tiny fist at 90% of the headshots we get for arrested individuals.

Our format is for every headshot of reasonable quality to be ‘cut out’ from the background and saved with an alpha channel into Chyron for on-air use. ‘Reasonable’ is subjective, but it still amounts to a headshot in a 512 square frame.

Among the many many reasons the magic wand tool does not help in these cases is that a lower quality image in a small frame results in a jagged edge, and will pick up pieces I don’t want it to. brick walls are some of the worst offenders.  And don’t get me started on trees.  Sure, you can play with the sensitivity level but ultimately it just takes less time for me to erase the background either manually or with the Polygon Tool.

I prefer the Polygon Lasso Tool over the plain Lasso because you can keep clicking the line along in segments. If you let go of the freehand Lasso too soon or too late, you can’t undo just part of it easily.  With a lower quality image, three quick clicks gets me across a shoulder.   The polygon tool creates a dashed outline and with a tap of ‘delete’, it’s gone.  If I don’t capture everything I wanted, I can still use the eraser without risking going over the dashed line, or shift click a little extra.

 

 

23 April

Toothless 2 – Hoodie adventures

How To Train Your Dragon 2 is coming out in a few months, and I think I need to make something that’s going to be too warm to wear in June.

The first HTYD movie was wonderful and my husband and I both bawled at the end.  I still can’t watch the damn thing without crying. Toothless grew on me fast – his style threw me off at first, but the animation of his expressions and body movements  and especially the eyes won me over fast.  My favorite dragons have traditionally been D&D versions, with strong, well defined bodies and distinct shining scales.  I’m still annoyed that Smaug is technically a Wyvern rather than a dragon – his arms are build into the wings rather than as another set of limbs.  Back to topic: last year, I made this Toothless for my nephew:

Toothless

Toothless was partially completed on the plane to New Zealand and during the first few days of travel.  He was finished in time to pose for photos on the South Island near the Franz-Josef glacier.  Which we got some good shots of, but our helicopter ride was canceled at the last minute due to weather, so we never actually got to go set foot on it.  That would have been my first helicopter trip ever too.  Ah well.  This Toothless was delivered over Christmas, and apparently has not left my nephew’s side since.  He was put together following a free pattern by “KatyA” on DeviantArt.  The pattern can be found here – http://katy-a.deviantart.com/art/Toothless-Pattern-Part-1-of-4-161986741 It is NOT released for commercial purposes, so I can’t make more of these for sale, only personal use.

Which leads me to this = Toothless Dragon Hoodie

Dragonhoodie

This dragon hoodie, on the other hand has no released pattern, but I suspect I can bastardize a few pieces of the DA pattern, or at least blow up the tail portion for the hoodie.  It is done by a Canadian company, and it simply looks amazing.  I’m plotting on doing my own, and I don’t know at this point if I’m going to make the whole thing from scratch or purchase 2 hoodies and scavenge tail, claw, wing and horn material from one of them.  I found a few base designs that I like – I prefer the ‘slim’ fit style, and I found a hoodie on ebay with a double zipper style that I would like to use as a base.  If I go the buy and modify route, I’d need two of the same style hoodie, maybe one the largest size they carry so I can harvest the bigger one for material. I like the diagonal seam across the front and would like to try drafting a pattern with raglan sleeves, and the lower pockets as in the ebay example (not the front pouch that most hoodies seem to have). I also like the draw string hood, so I’ll use that as well. I don’t like the puffy arms as much, however, so I don’t know if I’ll keep those as part of my design. I think that would make it different enough for me to sell if I don’t.

Using 2 hoodies – I have matching material, but it may not be enough. having a base to start with could, in theory, save me some time but I’ve become wary of ‘time saving’ shortcuts. It would be nice to not have to go through the whole fitting process though.

Using hoodie fabric – I can do my own design, make a pattern of my own (and in theory, digitize and sell that) but it will take extra time to do everything. On the other hand, I’ll have fabric to burn, and I can pick fabric that I can be sure won’t be too bulky with the added tail and whatnot.  There are advantages to being able to make another one, say for my nephew, with fabric I can buy readily.

Either way, I’ll need some black fabric paint and maybe a nice stencil for clean paint edges. I know for sure I”ll be doing a half-red tail with the viking symbol instead of all black like the one for sale.  I’d like to do my own design and sell it – perhaps a Smaug hoodie for sale instead of a Toothless, so I don’t risk stepping on the other shop’s figurative toes. My own Toothless hoodie will have the center back wing spines as well as seven pointed flappy wings rather than the four points that the already existing hoodie has.

5 March

Another new Web Banner

For work. I should probably go back and reorganize my images.

Severe Weather Awareness

Severe Weather Awareness

Made in about 20-30 minutes. For our coverage of Gov. McCrory’s declaration of Severe Weather Awareness week for NC.

Hurricane Week replacement Banner reflecting the new look of the station.

Hurricane week

30-45 minutes.

3 March

New Midna Pattern in my Etsy store!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/181311874/midna-cloak-back-pattern-design

It’s a printable pattern that can be used as a design template for the back of her cloak.

25 February

Society 6 store

Is now open!

http://society6.com/KimberlyWillsStarin

And filling up slowly. I have to re-format my Last Pot Brewed images and it takes a few minutes per, along with deciding which ones I want to try to sell.

13 February

And that’s why the car was on fire.

A photo came in attached to a work-related email. It appeared on my FB feed as well, with the as yet unanswered question – WHY IS THE CAR ON FIRE?

So I answered it.

NC Storm At-AT 2014

NC Storm At-AT 2014

27 January

Internal map – North and South Carolina

NC_SC_DMA_01_2014_1

Created based on another existing map, and modifying my own templates in Photoshop. Covers DMA’s in our area – not secret information.

The company I work for just underwent a name change, so it’s been interesting adapting to the new look.

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