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Archive for September 2008

Photoshop is not for me

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I think I made a mistake by taking Digital Photography class. I really like taking photos, but I don't like editing them. Before taking the class, I liked the idea of learning how to use Photoshop with pictures. We interior design students use Photoshop to render our floor plans. I thought I should join the rest of the world and use it with photographs.

Then last week, I had my first "Photo Editing Day." The class is 2 1/2 hours long, and all we did was edit photos in Photoshop. And we were only instructed to bring 10-20 photos. I like doing the fast, easy stuff, like changing the levels, but that only took me 30 minutes. What was I supposed to do for the rest of the class.

Someone suggested I put clouds in this photo.

I tried to do it, but it was just taking too long. I decided it would be faster to take a whole new photo on a good cloud day. So I did.

Much faster. All I had to do was step outside my dorm room. I had to take this photo on the opposite side as the first because the sky looked nicer on this side.

After giving up on the clouds, I decided to try adding color to black and white photos.

My first attempt went well, I think. But I still had an hour left in the class! That's when I just got up and left. Maybe this class just isn't for me.

I've been tagged

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Yay! I was tagged by Lindsay to do a survey. I've never been tagged before :)

1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules to your blog
3. Write 6 random things about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

1. I'm a little short (5 feet tall) and I used to hate it. When I was in first grade, I came home from school and asked my mom, "Why am I the smallest girl in my class!!" There turned out to be another short girl in my class, and we formed a friendship based on both being really short and tiny.

2. When I was in seventh grade, I was running through the house and ran into a door frame. I broke my toe. That's the only thing I've ever broken.

3. I decided I wanted to be an interior designer after using the computer program 3D Home Architect. I discovered this program at my dad's house, and I started drawing floor plans. My dad suggested that I become an architect. But then I realized that the only reason I drew the outside of the house was so I could design the inside. There was this option to turn the floor plan into a 3D model (hence the name) and then pick out paint colors and furniture. That was my favorite part, and that's when I learned what an interior designer was. I was in 4th grade, and I've stuck with it ever since.

4. I was very allergic to nickel. I had my ears pierced twice before I realized what the problem was. My ears got infected both times, and I still don't have my ears pierced. I can't even wear metal watches because my skin breaks out, so I have a leather watch. I also break out in welts when my skin rubs against the three prong metal part of binders.

5. I am a bit obsessed with cinnamon. I like to add it to everything I bake. In seventh grade, I made some great cinnamon muffins (at least I thought they were great) and I decided to share with my friends. Only one of my friends was brave enough to try them, and as soon as she took a bite she said, "My mouth is burning, my mouth is burning! Where is the water fountain!" Another friend asked how much cinnamon I put in the muffins. I told her, "The recipe called for two teaspoons, but I accidently put two tablespoons. And then I thought that some cinnamon sprinkled on top would look nice too."

6. This isn't really random because I've talked about my job before. I got my job in the interior design building because I really like having things my way. I'm the oldest in my family, and I grew up bossing around my sisters and being totally controlling. I don't like clutter and disorganized spaces, and since I am in the interior design building all the time, it's important to me that it's organized. I have my job so I can make the building look the way I want it to. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

Since it took me forever to get this written, I don't know who to tag. I think everyone has done this already.

Real Client Project

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This semester, for the first time, we have a "real" client project. All our projects up to this point have been assigned to us by our teacher. Last year, we did a restaurant and our teacher told us what the (pretend) client wanted. The year before that, we designed a house and got to pick our own client. Shawn was my client, but I basically did whatever I wanted.

Our client for this project is the dean of our department, and he and his wife want to renovate their house. Our teacher divided us into groups, and we're doing a Designer's Challenge type of project. There are three different groups, and the client will pick the design they like best. We visited their house a couple weeks ago, and they explained their personal style. Actually, they were very vague about the kind of style they wanted. They just said they like traditional styles and they wanted their house to look like it came out of Southern Living magazine. Tomorrow my partner and I meet with the client for the first time to show them what we've done so far.

I've been researching sustainable patio furniture all day. I found a gorgeous teak table. It's a bit expensive, though. Ok... A lot expensive. But look how beautiful it is.

I also found this 100% recycled plastic chair. It's made from plastic, but it looks like wood.

We're also creating an outdoor room, using this seating arrangement and a water fountain as our focal point.

I hope the clients like our design!

Field Trip

Sunday, September 14, 2008

On Wednesday my Interior Design V class went on a field trip to a prominent architecture firm in Mississippi. The firm employs interior designers as well as architects, and they do mostly commercial projects: restaurants, schools, churches, etc. The interior designers are currently working on a restaurant project for a new open air shopping center. The client for the restaurant project was in the interior design material room as we were touring it. As I was walking by, I overheard the client say that she liked the flowers in a fabric one of the interior designers was suggesting. The client ONLY liked the flowers and was wondering if they could cut out the flowers in the fabric and put them on another fabric.

Um...what?! Did I just hear that correctly? She wants them to cut out yards and yards of flowers and sew them on another fabric! This isn't $1/a yard fabric, people. Designer fabrics costs a lot, like $100's per yard! And this women is likely doubling her costs since she would have to buy twice as much fabric (the flower fabric AND the substitute fabric). I thought that commercial designers didn't get crazies like that. One of the reasons I want to go into commercial design is to avoid the people. I don't want to become someone's therapist.

Another student in my class, M, works for a furniture store that provides decorating services (there is a huge difference between an interior designer and an interior DECORATOR!). One day M's boss didn't have time to stop by a client's house, so she asked M to do it and to pretend that she knew what she was doing. After that, clients started actually requesting M instead of the decorators. M has told us crazy stories about the clients she has. Since the people M works for aren't designers and don't have any formal training, they charge under $50/an hour to stop by people's houses and give them decorating advice. One time M stopped by a client's house, gave suggestions and was about to leave, but the client said she would pay M if she would just stay another hour and talk to her. Of course M agreed! Who wouldn't want to get paid just to talk to someone! And they weren't even talking about decorating or design. The client just wanted to talk to M about her life. Weird. I guess it's cheaper than hiring a therapist.

I'm hoping that I'll avoid that sort of behavior if I'm in commercial design.

Tomorrow my class has another field trip. I'm wondering if I'll hear about more crazy clients...

Three years ago

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Today my photography class saw an exhibit by Melody Golding. The exhibit is called Katrina: Mississippi Women Remember. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina the media focused it attention on New Orleans, and the rest of the world forgot that the Mississippi Gulf Coast experienced huge devastation. Melody Golding came to the coast as a Red Cross Volunteer and documented her experience with photographs and video. The exhibit also includes first hand accounts from Katrina survivors.

On a day when people are remembering where they were seven years ago, I found myself thinking about my life three years ago.

On August 29, 2005, I was a freshman in college had barely been at school a week when the the hurricane hit. I was terrified. My dorm was the only building that had air conditioning and power after the hurricane hit. The men's dorms didn't have power, and the women's dorms didn't have air conditioning. I remembering walking around the campus with my roommate and looking at all the damage: fallen trees, crushed cars, but all the buildings were fine. I also noticed that the administrative buildings were being run by three generators.

The rest of the town didn't have any power and all the stores were closed, including Wal-Mart. Since people didn't have any food, so they came to my school to eat in the cafeteria. An older women (who loved blue eye shadow) and her husband liked to sit with me in the caf. Since we didn't have cable, I got my outside news from them. Everyday, they would tell me something new.
"Your school is next in line after the hospital to get power."
"One of the gas stations has gas now, and their line is all the way down the highway."
"The water isn't safe to drink." (my RA told me later that the school's water was fine to drink, but the water in the city wasn't)
"Wal-Mart is open, and people can get food. But since the line is out the door, all the food will probably be gone by the time we get inside."
"There's a city wide curfew. Don't go outside after seven."
"Your school's cafeteria is running out of food since the delivery trucks can't get through the roads."

Around the time I received that last piece of information, I noticed that the school's administration buildings no longer had three generators, but were down to one. And only one room had any lights turned on. Later that day, we were told to go home and classes were cancelled. We weren't told when classes would resume.

It was difficult for students to leave campus due to the gas shortage. The rumor going around was that there wasn't any gas until Alabama. I found a girl driving to Tuscaloosa, and I rode with her. Turned out that the gas rumors were right. We didn't find an open gas station until we were almost in Tuscaloosa. My mom picked me up in Tuscaloosa. I was home a week, and then the school's website said we could come back.

Three years later, seeing photographs of Katrina makes me emotional, which seems ridiculous because things were so much worse further south. Seeing Melody Golding's exhibit brought so many memories to the surface. I can only hope and pray that Ike doesn't ravage the Texas coast like Katrina did to the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts.

My roomie

Monday, September 8, 2008

I don't think I've talked about roomie yet, so that's what today's post will be about.

First of all, we are HUGE dorks! We like going to Wal-Mart late at night. We usually go around 11 because the lines are shorter. We also go to Wal-Mart late at night because we don't get as many stares. You see, we don't just shop at Wal-Mart, we sing. Yes, we sing. And we don't sing just anything, we sing songs from musicals. Our favorite Wal-Mart song is Ten Minutes Ago from Roger's and Hammerstein's Cinderella, not even a popular musical but a fifty one year old musical. You see what I mean? We are huge dorks!

Last week, we had our beginning of the year hall meeting. They talked about the usually stuff, be quiet at night, no candles in the dorms, not even candles with the wick cut off, you can't even use candle warmers. So NO CANDLES!

What was the first thing we did once we got to our room? We just couldn't resist!


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Gustav has left us with lots of rain. And tornadoes. Two days ago I was awoken by someone shouting down my hall, "There's a tornado, everyone head down to the basement. Come on girls, this is serious. Come on girls, wake up!" The shouting was quickly followed by a pounding on my door and a repeat of the message.

That same afternoon I went to my photography class. About an hour into the class (and an hour into a super long Ansel Adams documentary) the professor received a campus alert text message saying that their was a tornado in our area, and we should take cover immediately. My professor told us their was no need to panic or to take cover, since we were already in the basement. So while every other class got to head down to the basement and miss the rest of the class time, my photography class was forced to endure the rest of the Ansel Adams documentary. Although, watching a movie is always better than listening to the teacher lecture, but this documentary gave me a migraine.